Book fair encourages reading

Tembisa youngsters commemorated June 16 through arts on Saturday, which included music, drama and poetry.

Khanya College’s initiative, the Jozi Book Fair, hosted the event at the Moses Molelekwa arts centre on June 18.

Jozi Book Fair director Ms Maria Van Driel said the Jozi Book Fair’s objective is to create readers and to identify writers.

“Today we are commemorating 40 years of the Soweto uprising,” she said.

She said it was important to encourage the youth to read and write.

Ms Van Driel said there is a lot of youth unemployment and with the current education system, young people drop out of school.

“A weak culture of reading and writing makes poverty worse. A young person who is able to read and write has choices of how to change their lives,” she said.

Ms Van Driel said reading and writing enables young people to seek employment and enables the reading of manifestos to make choices when voting.

The Jozi Book Fair works throughout the year with 45 schools and 13 orphanages, five of which are in Tembisa.

The learners are then invited to an event hosted at Wits University from September 1 to 4.

Participants will then engage in dialogue with authors like Zakes Mda.

South Africa’s National Poet Laureate Keorapetse “Bra Willie” Kgositsile and author Mohale Mashigo graced the Jozi Book Fair at the Moses Molelekwa arts centre.

The former exile poet shed light on the nature of the struggle during the Apartheid regime.

He answered the youth and shed light on concepts like forgiving and forgetting on the atrocities of Apartheid.

A young person who attended the event, Poppy Machitje, said the Jozi Book Fair is a relevant platform for young people who cannot read and write.

“Here they can gain confidence of reading and writing instead of being discriminated against. The youth of ’76 sacrificed their lives for us. Therefore today we have rights and choices. That is why I am here to commemorate June 16,” said Poppy.

Health department officials were also there to encourage healthy living among the youth.

“We did health screening, blood pressure tests, HIV tests and sugar diabetes tests,” said HIV/AIDS coordinator Mr Jonas Maluleka.

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