The Four declared objectives of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) Association say it all:
To uphold the right of the peoples of Africa to have full access to books, which are culturally and materially relevant to their reading needs.
To uphold the right to freedom of expression and the fullest possible exchange of information through books and other reading materials.
To promote professionalism and fair practise in Africa’s book and allied industries.
To provide total customer satisfaction through personalized quality service to all ZIBF participants.
Established in 1983 in Harare, the ZIBF has never ceased its steady rise to prominence and excellence. Zimbabwe is an intellectually and culturally thriving nation of approximately the same size of population as Senegal.
The 2014 edition of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) was dedicated to celebrating the achievements of local authors who wrote books in indigenous languages, the ZIBF chairperson, Musaemura Zimunya, has revealed.
The book fair began on July 28 and ran through to August 2 at different venues, with the main exhibitions set for the Harare Gardens.
The theme Indigenous Languages, Literature, Art and Language Systems of Africa was chosen for that edition..
Zimunya said this year they would be celebrating the achievements of writers whose works were published in indigenous languages in line with amendments made in the new constitution.
“The new constitution has a legislation that recognises several indigenous languages in Zimbabwe, unlike in the past where only two languages — Shona and Ndebele — were recognised.
“We want to inspire the emerging writers whose works are in minority languages and we want to celebrate the achievements made by indigenous languages writers,” said Zimunya.
He, however, stressed out that the development did not imply they would be banning English literary works at the fair.
“Let me put it clear that we are not banning the literary works published in English or any other languages.
“However, we cannot exhibit a book published in, say, Yoruba (West African language) — that will be ill-advised,” he added.
Explaining on how they came up with the theme for 2014 edition, Zimunya said: “The publishing industry depends upon our environment and key contributors to writing is indigenous languages which are usually ignored.”
The book fair is going to have several activities that includes a writers’ workshop to be held on August 2.
The workshop will be discussing on how to maximise mother tongue writings through value addition.
An Indaba featuring international writers will also be held on July 28 and 29 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, with various topics expected to be discussed.
Book lovers will also have an opportunity to rub shoulders with their favourate authors at a tent pitched inside the Harare Gardens, where live literature will also be showcased.
The ZIBF celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013.