As National Book Week draws to an end, scores of people including scholars, up-coming authors and bookworms made their way to the South African Book Fair at the Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg on Friday morning.
Among the guests was the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said reading for children is not only important for education but for our country as a whole.
“If we want to develop the children of our country in to being citizens who can contribute to the economic growth of South Africa, we must encourage our young children, as young as 6-years-old to start reading,” said Ramaphosa.
The deputy president also said he was very pleased to see young people participating in an initiative where they can learn about the importance of literacy.
Ramaphosa said it is important that we encourage the publishing of books in our country’s indigenous languages.
“It is important to read books in our indigenous languages, particularly now in heritage month, because those are the books that tell the stories of our people which relates to how our cultures have developed, our traditions and our rituals. We have got great wealth and richness in the indigenous languages of our country, so we must publish them and we must get people to read them,” said Ramaphosa.
Speaking to Inside Education, National Book Week ambassador and South African actress Motsoaledi Setumo spoke about how important it is for people to get into the habit of reading from a developmental level.
“Young people need to start reading a lot more so that they can become knowledgeable and help shape our country’s future in a positive way, because knowledge is power,” said Setumo.
The South African Book Fair in Johannesburg will run until from September 8-10 under the theme #OurStories.