National Book Week’s Books Beyond Words online storytelling event hopes to give South Africans a good reason to stay home and stay safe as the country moves from Level 5 restrictions to Level 4 from tomorrow under the risk adjusted strategy adopted by the government. Under the Level 4 guidelines, some movement has been eased however several restrictions would remain in place for as long as the risk of transmission is present.
The weekly event by South Africa’s annual reading awareness week, National Book Week (NBW), dedicated to encouraging leisure reading and promoting the importance of books, has been running ‘houseful’ for the past five weekends. The event was initiated to help children and parents pivot to the new normal of staying indoors.
NBW is a joint initiative of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) and The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC).
Last week’s avuncular storyteller Bongani Godide will be back this weekend with two of his favourite stories, When The Snake Fears Ostrich in English and Ingulube engalaleli (A Mischievous Pig) in isiZulu.
Godide is a storyteller, literacy development specialist and an entrepreneur. Among the many hats he wears, he is also the founder/ MD at Watotoland, an online company that focuses on selling self-published children’s books, also offering programmes for children and parents on literacy development. Apart from that, he also translates children’s books. He has also participated in NBW activities over the years and is an ardent supporter of the effort.
He uses his powerful voice and dramatic techniques taking his audiences on a journey, pulling them along with a string of words. The tales he presents are largely influenced by the justice of the people, by good over evil, inspiring listeners to work harder every day.
Elitha van der Sandt, CEO, SABDC says, “It’s been more than a month since children have been home and away from schools. Thankfully, technology has proven its worth to parents during the lockdown bringing school lessons and entertainment in equal measure at the touch of the app. All parents deserve a standing ovation for pulling out all the stops to ensure children are kept meaningfully engaged and fed at all times.”
“The response to the Facebook event has been overwhelming and I do hope parents and children find this experience both entertaining and engaging. Never have books and stories been so important than in this time of enforced isolation.”
Godide will be live this weekend i.e. Saturday, 02 May on NBW’s Facebook page at 11:00am.
Parents wishing to relive the moments or catch up on stories they have missed, can find all the videos on the NBW Facebook page. Please ‘like’ the page if you are keen to receive alerts and updates on our activities throughout the country.