Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is an advocate of early childhood development through reading. He joined the South African Book Development Council at Museum Africa to kick off the South African Book Fair.
The South African Book Fair (SABF), in association with the Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) SETA returned after a short absence, and kicked off a highly anticipated programme today (8 September), which will run until 10 September 2017 at Museum Africa, Newtown.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, alongside Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu were amongst the dignitaries at the opening. The Deputy President took the opportunity to read and engage with learners, emphasizing the importance of reading as both a lifestyle and family exercise.
Pleased to see so many young people in attendance, the Deputy President appealed to the public: “We are hoping that out of this Book Fair we will be able to improve the reading culture in our country.”
With a staggering 58% of households in South Africa not having leisure books, Ramaphosa stressed its necessity saying “reading for children is so important for their development – for education and the country as a whole.”
The Book Fair provides a great platform for South Africans, young and old, to explore and realise the indigenous talent present in the country. Rooted deeply on the key principle of telling #OURSTORIES, the South African Book Fair is the perfect tribute to Heritage Month, by providing a platform for authors, publishers and the public to connect over stories that are told by South Africans and Africans in their languages and unique narrative style. “If we want to develop our children to be active participants in economic growth – we must encourage children as young as 6 years old to read,” adds Ramaphosa.
It is important to read books written in our indigenous languages. They are the stories that our people relate to, our cultures, rituals, traditions and languages. They also tell us where we come from – depicting the rich tapestry of our history from the perspective of our forebearers. Noting that he was challenged to read 50 books a year, the Deputy President told media that due to his hectic schedule he can only manage to read 30 this year.
In celebration of this history, the South African Book Fair is dedicated to bringing families together to explore this rich tapestry of our history throughout the weekend.