THE Red Location Museum in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth will come alive with book-related activities as National Book Week returns to Nelson Mandela Bay this week.
With this year's theme of "The Books of Our Lives," National Book Week embarks on a creative campaign which reveals to South Africans the many ways in which books remain faithful companions.
The Bay Municipality and the Eastern Cape sports, recreation, arts and culture department, have renewed their partnership with the South African Book Development Council to host the event in Port Elizabeth.
"Reading – as part of the important process of educating our youth – remains crucial if we would like to break the back of poverty, unemployment and inequality," Bay executive mayor Ben Fihla said.
Book discussions, word-a-thon, specialised workshops by the likes of Zakes Mda and Deon Meyer, family literacy workshops, motivational talks by celebrity ambassadors such as Bonnie Henna and Aaron Moloisi, story- telling, reading tents and a praise- singing workshop by Zolani Mkiva, lie at the core of this year's activities.
Reading statistics report that only 14% of the South African population are active book readers, and a mere 5% of parents read to their children.
Sport, recreation, arts and culture MEC Xoliswa Tom said: "As champions and leaders in the campaign to encourage our people to read, we invite everyone; especially women and children to come and learn, participate in the activities that will enlighten them to the endless opportunities that come with reading.
"An ability to read restores dignity in our communities and opens doors that will empower our people to deal effectively with the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment."
Among those participating are also Chad Saaiman, Gcina Mhlophe and Zolani Mkiva. Entrance to National Book Week programmes is free and the event runs from Thursday to Saturday this week.