This year the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) celebrated its 30th anniversary with a series of workshops, live book reading and exhibitions at various venues in the CBD including Harare Gardens, Crown Plaza Hotel and the Book Cafe.
Running under the theme Enabling creatives, writing, publishing and reading for Africa’s growth, the Book Fair ran from the 30 September to the 5 October and attracted scores of people including school children, writers, publishers and book lovers.
Churchill High school student Taona Mwaripa was pleased with what the Book Fair has one offer, saying that, “[it] gives us an opportunity to see new books on the market so that we can equip ourselves with the most recent information.”
This year’s edition was moved from its regular slot at the end of July (29 July to 3 August) to last week’s schedule so as not to clash with the harmonized elections.
ZIBF executive board chairperson Musaemura Zimunya explained: “Given that we all experience an unusual concentration of energies, some positive, others negative, prior to, during and after the elections, we found it prudent to push our dates further back, however inconvenient it seemed at the time.”
The Book Fair had several programs targeting youth including the Young Persons Indaba, Live Literature Centre, Children’s Reading Tent and The Digital Zone.
A new feature this year were the literary evenings, which saw writers like Memory Chirere reading and discussing their work at the Book Café.
Running parallel to the Fair were a series of Indaba sessions held at Crown Plaza hotel, covering a variety of topics such as indigenous languages and knowledge systems, digitization, dialogue and tolerance in African communities, health and environment. Also on offer was a writers’ workshop themed: Writing for children now, which was well attended by different invited writers and guests from various organisations that represent writers, including Writers International Network Zimbabwe.
“As you may agree, it is very crucial for our literary and book sector to revisit this theme in the light of our changing society and technological revolutions that demand adjustment in order to remain relevant to our children and future citizens,” said Zimunya.
The 30th edition of the ZIBF was sponsored by Culture Fund in partnership with the European Union, Kopinor and Norcode and the British Council, and Hivos in partnership with the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Office of the President of Zimbabwe.