The Herald (Harare)

28 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Byo Book Fair Slated for March

The Zimbabwe International Book Fair Bulawayo will now be held on March 22-23 at the National Gallery Bulawayo.

The initial dates had to be shifted since they coincided with the referendum, which

will be held on March 16 across Zimbabwe. The Bulawayo Book Fair, which is an annual event, will run along the usual exhibitions incorporating the children's reading tent and the live literature centre, not to mention the writers, publishers, librarians and booksellers' workshop.

During this year's event, ZIBF will introduce a new item -- The Bulawayo Literary Evening.

"As we commemorate 30 years of service to the literary and book sector in Zimbabwe and Africa, we have embraced a simple theme: "ZIBF@30: Enabling Creativity, Writing, Publishing and Reading for Africa's Growth".

"Our stakeholders have, therefore, begun to gear themselves up for the Bulawayo Book Fair, the Mutare Book Fair that will be held on September 27 and 28 and the recently introduced Masvingo Book Fair that will be held end of May.

"Of course, all these regional fairs provide the stakeholders with a platform to rehearse for the anticipated ZIBF 2013 jamboree scheduled for Harare Gardens from July 29-August 3," said Musaemura Zimunya, the board chair of ZIBF, in a statement.

One key feature of ZIBF Bulawayo Book Fair would be the writers', publishers', booksellers' and librarians' workshop scheduled for March 22.

Organisers of the fair have identified some of the leading lights from the literary, publishing, librarian and bookselling sectors to make presentations on some of the abiding thorny challenges to the book sector.

"We have, in addition, found room for contributions to the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Police Department, to address the much vexed problem of piracy and share with the public what they see from where they stand," he said.

Other presentations would target developmental issues such as the role of language and material cultures in the identity of a people.

Also on the presentations would be the impact of electronic media on children's reading culture; how books become schools set textbooks and digital tools for writing and marketing for authors, and the role of intellectual copyright in the book sector.

ZIBF had been mulling the idea of the Bulawayo Literary Evening for a while in recognition of Bulawayo as a thriving epicentre of the arts and, in particular, the literary sector.

"As ZIBF, we have never wavered in our convictions nor shirked our responsibility to contribute to the success of the book and literary sectors of Bulawayo except when funding did not permit.

"The hugely successful hosting of the 2013 Nama ceremony provided ample evidence for this, confounding critics, detractors and sceptics alike.

"We are, therefore, delighted to provide a platform for writers -- poets, novelists and short story writers - to the public, read and or perform their work.

"We hope authors take up the opportunity while members of the public respond positively to make the event a big success," he concluded.

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