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Poetry lovers are in for a treat at the South African Book Fair

Events for young and old will all feature at the fair.

In keeping with its vision to be South Africa’s most inclusive book fair, the South African Book Fair is jam-packed with compelling storytelling and poetry offerings for visitors from all walks of life and of all ages.

The South African Book Fair (#SABF2019) will be held from September 6 to 8 at the Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill at 11 Kotze Street in Johannesburg.

As part of its plentiful events for younger readers, this year’s fair hosts isiZulu storyteller Zanele Ndlovu who brings ancient tales to life with the strings of her indigenous musical instruments.

Titled Umakhwenyana, this celebration of our heritage for children of all ages has two performances in the Magic Tent on September 7.

Another highlight will be Refiloe Moahloli reading from her latest children’s book, Yes Yanga! in English, isiXhosa and isiZulu on both Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 11.30am.

Activist and poet Gcina Mhlope’s Stories of Africa is also an unmissable multi-lingual storytelling session that that will deepen our understanding of history and encourage children to read.

Those who like their science delivered in an entertaining way will not want to miss Dance of the Dung Beetles on September 7. It has been a sell-out success at several other festivals.

This riveting show sees scientist Marcus Lunn and writer Helen Lunn bring to life the mysterious lives of dung beetles through 3 000 years of history and mythology.

Poetry will come movingly into focus on Saturday where fair visitors are invited to join Gcina Mhlope in an exploration of Constitution Hill and its harrowing history – from the austere halls of the Women’s Jail to the Anglo-Boer War era fort, the stark concrete of the Men’s Jail and the symbolic architecture of the modern Constitutional Court where the battle for freedom continues.

The tour features moving performances by South African poets, turning this into an unmissable event for those who want to explore the nexus between history and poetry with one of the country’s foremost storytellers.



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The centrepiece of the South African Book Fair’s poetry offerings is Hear My Voice, a performance-poetry evening on Saturday at 6pm, dedicated to the legendary Keorapetse Kgositsile.

Southern African stars Vangi Ganthso, Lee Mokobe, Upile Chisala and Sabelo Soko will team up with international sensation D’Bi Young for an unforgettable experience.

Starting in 2018, the South African Book Fair has celebrated the life of the late Professor Kgositsile, affectionately known as Bra Willie, with a mix of multi-generational and multi-lingual voices.

In 2019 the South African Book Fair’s poetry café continues to honour this celebrated artistic intellectual by presenting a feast for lovers of the spoken word.

These are just some of the storytelling and poetry offerings at the South African Book Fair that are bringing #OURSTORIES to life and inspiring a reading revolution for all South Africans.

For more details go to https://www.southafricanbookfair.co.za.

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Contact the newsroom by emailing: Melissa Hart (Editor) germistoncitynews@caxton.co.za or Leigh Hodgson (News Editor) leighh@caxton.co.za or Kgotsofalang Mashilo (journalist) kgotsofalangm@caxton.co.za

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