Book fair grows reading culture

12 September 2019 | Education

The fourth Namibia Book Fair, hosted at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) last Friday, saw exhibitors from across the country showcase their books and engage primary and high school learners through the celebrated culture of reading.

Founded by Helvi Itenge in 2011, the book fair aims to encourage a culture of reading to a wider audience. With about 300 scholars and about 15 exhibitors attending this year's event, this is exactly what was done.

The book fair caters for audiences of different ages, as well as different interests and cultures.

The activities included storytelling, as well as a picture-book cinema, facilitated by the Goethe Institute, which showed visuals to the children, as a story was being narrated.

The older attendees enjoyed workshops that included information on how to make a book in 20 minutes. They also enjoyed access to an online library, which contained a variety of books.

Read Namibia also hosted various programmes and initiatives to engage the children, such as Leap Reader, which is a digital pen that reads a book through manoeuvring the pointy end across the printed words. This can be utilised for children who have not yet learned to read.

Elia Iita, who volunteered at the Read Namibia stand, said it was an exciting experience, not only for the children, but for him, as he spent a lot of time reading to them.

“I always enjoy teaching children something new, as well as learning something from them,” he said.

Other exhibitors included Nust students and alumni. Delila Katanga, a student and Nust FM presenter, showcased her latest work titled 'Uncalled'. Set in the city, the book looks at life as a social construct.

It sheds light on the life of a 'slay queen', as well as common stereotypes and misconceptions about university students.

Kalina Senia (24) travelled from Okahao to showcase her written treasure titled 'Andola Tuu'.

Senia hopes that her words will uplift young women who encounter the novel that is written in Oshiwambo.

She said she expresses herself best through writing and that is what inspired her to write the book.

The event was proudly funded by First National Bank (FNB) Namibia, the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Goethe Institute.

It was held under the theme: 'Read together, build together'.

Ester Kamati

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