Festival promotes reading

Child authors’ books on display at inaugural event, at museum

HAPPY BOOKWORMS: Having fun at the Eastern Cape Children’s Book Festival are, from left, Liyabon Wewe, Sinentlahla
Fukula, Onenceba Zondani, Cinga Dywala and Khazimla Thiso Picture: SIVENATHI GOSA

Book for Every Child Foundation founder Vuyokazi Biyana said their goal was “to promote the work of reading clubs so we can turn members of our communities towards
literature”. Biyana was speaking during the inaugural two-day Eastern Cape Children’s Book Festival held at the East London Museum recently.

“We chose the museum as a venue of choice in order to encourage families to visit it, learn from it and appreciate the history of our city that is preserved here.

“It forms part of our programme, with guided tours by the museum staff,” she said.

One of the festival’s highlights Biyana said, was the exhibition by College Street Primary School, which also held an exhibition at the Belgravia Art Gallery earlier in 2019.

“Onako Mbilini, a grade 6 pupil at College Street Primary, wrote her first book called Charlie Learns to Read during the Takalani Sesame workshop. One of her highlights was the handing over of a Children’s Rights Memorandum to BCM mayor Xola Phakathi,”
Biyana said.

Mbilini was joined by other young authors such as Buhle Mthethwa, 12, who published a book called The Big Fat Naughty Cat in December 2017, which made it to the Top 100 of the Star Newspaper. Mthethwa was also included in the top eight of the 2018 South African Heroes initiative.

Fellow young author Lelo Kingston, 10, released his book How I survived bullying in 2016, at the age of seven. “Lelo is a self-taught author who discovered his love for reading and writing at a very young age,” Biyana said.

Museum chairperson Sidwell Zweni said when approached by the foundation, they had accepted the opportunity to host the festival eagerly.

“The festival fits like a glove with our programmes we run here, adding to the marketing of
the museum,” he said.

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