THE third Namibia Book Fair was held under the theme ‘An Indigenous Treasure Hunt’, with the aim to showcase and promote books, local authors and publishers.
It also aims to arouse interest in the culture of reading and creative writing in the country.
The fair was established by the Yambeka Education Foundation and is supported by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and the University of Namibia (Unam).
Authors such as Andrew Harries, Taimi Nghikembua, Kondja Shaimemanya, and Ndaponah Shikangalah used the platform to launch their books during the opening of the book fair. The activities of the fair started off with workshops at the Goethe-Institut, book launches and storytelling sessions in various local languages, book exhibitions, poetry sessions, and book donations.
Ambassador Tonata Itenge-Emvula, patron of the Namibia Book Fair said, “The time has come when we should stop entertaining and even tolerating phrases such as ‘Namibians do not read or we have a poor reading culture in Namibia’.
In order for us to move forward as a knowledgeable nation, we need to invest our time and money on our young generation, to ensure that they are exposed and have access to literature resources that will broaden their knowledge and encourage critical thinking.”
NUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, said, “As institutions, we should by all means avoid a situation where people want to read, but there is no access to material.
Equally, we should try to avoid a trend where people want to write, but they do not know how to start, or are not given support, when they want to know how to go about getting their work published.
The Namibia Book Fair is therefore a necessary initiative and yet one that is long overdue.” Learners from different schools in Windhoek participated in the event. The next Namibia Book Fair is scheduled to take place in 2019. –nust.na
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