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Largest floating bookshop returns to Namibia's shores

5 000 books to choose from
Minister of education Anna Nghipondoka says it is the duty of parents and guardians to nurture a love for reading in all children from a young age.
Frieda Molotho
The Logos Hope, known as the world’s largest floating book fair, has docked at the Namibian Port of Walvis Bay for the first time since 2016 and will be open to the public until 21 July.

The vessel visits various ports for about two weeks and opens the gangways to thousands of visitors each day to visit its onboard bookshop and exhibitions. On average, one million visitors have been welcomed on board the Logos Hope ships every year!

“The floating book fair offers over 5 000 titles, providing many visitors their first-ever opportunity to purchase quality literature,” Logos Hope said.

With some 350 volunteers from around 65 different nationalities, the ship welcomes all Namibians to visit them from 5 - 21 July 2024, from Tuesday 11:00 to 20:00, Saturday 10:00 to 20:00 and Sunday 13:00 - 20:00. The entry fee is N$10 for adults. Entry is free for kids under 12 and seniors over 65.

“The Logos Hope community is regarded as a genuine expression of international goodwill and understanding. The crew and staff are all non-salaried volunteers, including many serving in their professional capacity, such as seafarers, engineers, electricians, nurses, teachers and cooks. Sponsorship from friends, family members and civic organisations enables crew members to serve on board,” the organisation stated.

Positive impact

At an official welcoming ceremony held recently in Walvis Bay, Edward David, the managing director of Logos Hope, emphasised the importance of Logos Hope as a vessel of knowledge, stating that their primary mission is to share knowledge with communities around the world.

“The ship's role is to promote education and cultural understanding, and it is committed to making a positive impact wherever it docks,” he said.

“We want to share knowledge, and acquiring knowledge is a vital part of a person’s development and lays a foundation for opportunity and success in life," he added.

"It is said that without hope, people perish. We want to share hope through our stories," he said.

Cornerstone of education

During the keynote address, minister of education Anna Nghipondoka stressed the crucial role of reading in shaping a person's and the community's future.

“From the tales of struggle for independence to the vibrant narratives of our diverse communities, each book holds a piece of our collective identity. Yet, as we celebrate our literary heritage, we must also recognise the importance of reading in shaping our future," she said.

“Reading is not merely a pastime, it is a gateway to knowledge, a catalyst for imagination, and a cornerstone of education,” Nghipondoka added.

She said reading opens doors to new ideas, broadens perspectives and empowers individuals to envision a better world.

“As parents and guardians, it is our duty to instill in our children a love for reading from a young age. By nurturing this habit, we equip them with the tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex global landscape.”

Culture of reading

Nghipondoka applauded the Logos Hope initiative.

“I am pleased to note that the entrance to the Logos Hope Book Fair is free for children under 12 years of age, and I would like to call on all parents in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay, and indeed across Namibia, to flood this vessel and expose our children to what Logos Hope has to offer.”

The minister urged Namibians to embrace a culture of reading. “Let us make it a habit to pick up a book. Let us encourage our children to explore the shelves of our libraries and discover the treasures within.”

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Namibian Sun 2024-07-17

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 472.66/OZ UP +0.17% | Copper US$ 4.44/lb DOWN -0.0043 | Zinc US$ 2 884.80/T DOWN -0.62% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 84.58/BBP UP +0.48% | Platinum US$ 1 022.43/OZ UP +1.97%