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7th Jozi Book Fair at Wits

- By Wits University


Prepare to be thrilled at the annual Jozi Book Fair which takes place between 11 – 13 September 2015. Wits University and Khanya College, the main hosts of the book fair, will host the 7th instalment of this literary feast at the multipurpose Wits Science Stadium, Braamfontein West Campus. Attendance is free and everyone is welcome.

The Fair features more than 120 events and activities ranging from readings with authors, SAN/Khoi storytellers from Oudtshoorn, jazz, theatre, open mic poetry, film festivals, to workshops and panel discussions.

This year’s theme is Children’s Literature and Childhood.

The Children’s Programme, runs from 09:30 to 14:00 on Saturday and Sunday, and features a Storytelling Festival, Poetry Buddies and various tours and exhibitions at the Origins Centre for children and parents. Full programme or visit



Roundtable discussion on Friday, 11 September

Crisis in our Schools at 15:00 with panellists: Salim Vally (UJ), Bulelwa Ndodana (Dept. of Education, E.Cape), Mugwena Maluleke (GS, SADTU) & Moderator: Siphelo Ngcwangu (Wits).

Book launch of Privatisation of Schools: Selling out the right to quality public education for all by Salim Vally, Carol Ann Spreen and Lauren Star at 16:00 – 17:00. More socio-political debates.

Children’s Tent on Saturday, 12 September

A wondrous experience awaits at the Children’s Tent with Gcina Mhlophe starting at 09:30 on Saturday.

Zakes Mda and Mpapa Mokhoane will launch the Sesotho edition of Penny and Puffy on 12 September at 10:00 at the Children’s Tent. Both authors will be present for a special reading.

Penny and Puffy is a story about a puffin and a penguin who grow up as brother and sister in a family of penguins on Robben Island. The tale highlights themes of love, compassion, tolerance and community for children. Furthermore, Mda and Mhlophe will engage in various public discussions alongside distinguished figures during the Fair.

Joan Rankin writer and illustrator of children’s books will facilitate a creative workshop for kids on Saturday at 10:00 in the Dolly Rathebe Room. Author Jenny Hatton will later deliver a tribute to Rankin at 15:00 in Lecture Theatre 4, Science Stadium.

 The Four Octo-Geniuses

The JBF has brought together these ‘Octo-Geniuses’: Keorapetse Kgositsile, James Matthews, Ronnie Govender and Don Mattera to share their wealth of experience as writers. They will engage in live poetry performances and poetry writing workshops to name a few.

The JBF cultural festival

The JBF will host a cultural festival parallel to the main programme, consisting of live poetry performances, six theatre productions, live jazz bands, and a film festival titled ‘Children and Youth Dealing with Diversity’. South African jazz musician Feya Faku Fezile and Kafka’s Ape, a one-man play based on Kafka’s A Report to the Academy, and recipient of a Silver Ovation award at this year’s National Arts Festival will also perform.