Harare International Book Fair opens


THIS year’s Harare International Book Fair kicked off in the capital yesterday with an indaba (workshops) at Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel.

By Entertainment Reporter

The workshops, which ran under the theme Writing for Children Now, explore various themes linked to digitalisation and the use of indigenous languages.

Workshops are expected to continue at the same venue today ahead of the festival’s exhibition that opens at the Harare Gardens tomorrow and runs until Saturday.

Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) chairperson Musaemura Zimunya said they had an overwhelming response to their call for participation at their indaba.

“Our sessions cover a variety of topics some of which fall under the following: indigenous language and knowledge systems, digitalisation, dialogue and tolerance in African communities, and health and environment, to name a few,” he said.

He said the main event would be a celebration of their existence as the closest thing to Africa’s prime book fair.

“In this spirit, we have chosen a theme that sums up our focus all this year: ZIBF@30: Enabling Creativity, Writing, and Publishing and Reading for Africa’s Growth,” Zimunya said.

“So far we have run the Bulawayo Book Fair (March) and launched for the first time the Masvingo Book Fair.

“Our thrust is driven by a vision to spread the exhibitions and love for books as far and wide across the nation as possible and strive to be relevant to our stakeholders at all times. We have received enormous encouragement and support from the two book fairs to suggest that we are in the right direction.”

He said in both the book fairs they introduced a new event called the Literary Evening where selected writers are invited to perform, read or discuss their works before fellow authors and interested members of the general public.

Local and international exhibitors are expected to put final touches to their stands today.

Tomorrow would be traders day specifically put aside for book buyers and sellers.

The exhibition opens to the public on Thursday and entry to the fair is free. An official at ZIBF said they were expecting more than 100 exhibitors and some were still registering for participation as of yesterday.