A grade six learner at Yeoville Community School in Johannesburg, Brent Sibindi won first prize of the best poem written at the 11th Jozi Book Fair 2019 that is hosted from the 29August to September 1 at the African Museum, Newtown.
The theme of the fair is Literature and Newspapers and the public is invited to participate and buy books written by school learners across Gauteng.
Sibindi is one of many learners participating in the book fair and school pupils are offered an opportunity to write books and poems that will be published and distributed by the Jozi Book Fair.
Nosipho Mdletshe is the coordinator of the book fair said, “The book fair started in 2009 and it was a response to the poor culture of reading in South Africa, as you know books are expensive and there’s no easy access for the community to buy books. We wanted to promote the culture of reading and create easy access for everyone. Our target is the working class and the community at large, we are working with schools around Johannesburg such as the Yeoville Community School. The fair ha 100 entries of school children and we focus on both primary and high school learners”.
The books provided at the Jozi Book Fair are all written by school pupils and they are encouraged to write poems and short stories through their mother tongue. “Writing in indigenous languages is very critical for children to relate and comprehend the content they writing, however, many poems are written in English but we still promote writing in their mother tongue”. The Jozi Book Fair had a two day session for school learners but on the 31August and 1 September the fair will be having different activities including theater plays and Jazz performances by school learners.