Kumbirayi Shoniwa Entertainment Reporter
The Executive Board of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) Association has announced its theme for 2014 entitled “Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Knowledge Systems of Africa’’. The Chairman of the ZIBF board, Musaemura Zimunya (pictured below), noted that the theme was arrived at after seeing the overwhelming submissions on the subject of African languages and literatures whose majority were turned down for lack of space in the 2013 ZIBF exhibition.
The 2014 theme was also a result of compelling indications from the ZIBF 2013 Writers Workshop regarding the urgency to recognise African languages, literatures and art forms as creative media and repositories of knowledge systems deserving as much attention as languages and literatures conveyed in English and other Western languages.
“We saw the necessity to recognise and celebrate the vast literary and academic productions in and about African languages in Zimbabwe and other countries across the continent.
“We are also sending a message of support and encouragement to authors, readers, researchers and publishers in these languages that their efforts play a vital role in intellectual growth, national and African continental development,” said Zimunya.
The initiative is a way of embracing the hitherto marginalised languages of Zimbabwe that are now legally recognised under our new Zimbabwean constitution and have the potential to transform peoples understanding of our national identity and the importance of tolerance of ethnic diversity.
The theme ensures the possibility of creating a festive atmosphere through the participation of African folk artists, readers, folk artists and performers at the 2014 event.
The 2014 showcase is expected to hold traditional events such as The Young Person’s Indaba, Traders Day, The Exhibitions, Live Literature, Writes’ Workshop, Children’s Reading Tent and Meet the Author.
Dates for various regional book fairs have been given as follows:
The Bulawayo Book Fair (28-29 March 2014).
The Masvingo Book Fair (30-31 May 2014).
The Harare Book Fair (28 July-2 August 2014).
The Mutare Book Fair (26-27 September 2014.
The Gweru Book Fair (24-25 October 2014).