Book fair returns to Byo

BULAWAYO - Writers, book enthusiasts, librarians and book industry professionals will descend on the City of Kings for the two-day Bulawayo Book Fair set to kick off at the Large City Hall on March 29.

The annual book showcase will run under the theme “Indigenous languages, literature, art and knowledge systems of Africa”, which is also the theme for the main Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF).

Musaemura Bonas Zimunya, the chairperson of the executive board of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association, said the theme is meant to reflect the significance of indigenous languages and knowledge systems.

“There were compelling indications from the ZIBF 2013 Writers Workshop regarding the urgency to recognise African languages, literatures and art forms as creative media and repositories of knowledge systems,” said Zimunya in a statement.

“There is an obvious necessity to recognise and celebrate the vast literary and academic productions and publications in and about African languages in Zimbabwe and other countries across the African continent.”

Just like last year, the Bulawayo Book Fair, which is easily the biggest regional book showcase in Zimbabwe, will host a one-day workshop for writers, publishers, booksellers and librarians.

“Our workshop intends to bring together stakeholders of the book industry to address and discuss issues that have been identified as beneficial to the book sector in order to exploit the common synergies that help to grow the industry,” said Zimunya, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer who is also the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Writers Association (ZWA).

Since the Bulawayo Literary Evening was one of the centrepieces of last year’s edition, organisers of the annual book showcase are hopeful that the event will replicate last year’s success.

  “We have scheduled another evening for authors to celebrate their art as well as to mix and mingle with their fraternity,” said the ZIBF board chairperson.

In addition to the usual exhibitions, the Bulawayo Book Fair has also announced the retention of the Children’s Reading Tent, Live Literature Centre and The Digital Zone.

“We would like to extend our invitation to parents and schools in the Matabeleland region to afford scholars this very unique opportunity to visit the book fair exhibitions to sample books for educational advancement, professional development and individual intellectual growth,” said the ZIBF boss.

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