Mutare Book Fair back with bang

HARARE - The Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) is re-launching the Mutare Book Fair which has been in lull since 2007 due to a number of challenges owing to economic hardships in the country, a leading artist has said.

Musaemura Zimunya, chairperson of the ZIBF executive board, cited book piracy caused by technological advancement in the world as the biggest challenge facing the book industry.

“Book piracy is killing the industry, readers are photocopying books and this has a huge impact on the survival of the author,” he said.

This book fair will include a writers’ workshop to be held on the opening day, children’s reading tent and live literature.

Meanwhile, ZIBF has found it worthy to move along with the times and embrace the latest technology in the book industry.

ZIBF aims to encourage the development of the book industry through cooperation in workshops, seminars and outreach programmes and to generate a culture of reading among Zimbabweans.

He encouraged Manicaland citizens to come in their numbers to support the event.

“Manicaland citizens, writers, educationists and scholars are invited and encouraged to visit, participate and sample this modest first event in the re-launching of the Mutare Book Fair,” said Zimunya.

The book fair is an event for publishers to exhibit their products and writers to participate at the workshop.

Workshop facilitators will deliver papers that help mentor writers in their creative endeavours.

Zimunya said the workshop is aimed at maximising writers’ skills, while educationists, scholars and members of the general public turn up to sample books that will be on offer for their various needs and inclinations.

The Mutare Book Fair will run from September 28 to 29 under the same theme of the previously held Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) held in Harare and the Bulawayo Book Fair — African Literature in the Global and Digital Era — Zimunya said the theme focuses more on the digitalisation of books.

“The theme looks into the prevailing mood of digitilisation in our educational, literary, publishing, book-selling and library, not to mention civic and public sectors of our society,” said Zimunya.

“It recognises revolutions in publishing technology, the transformations of African literature arising from the movement of its people and writers across vast areas of the globe.

“The impact of African literature at home and abroad, the consequences of globalism or globalisation on African societies, the necessity to tolerate and reconcile our diverse national and ethnic identities as Africans for a peaceful social, national and world order,” he said.

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