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Realizing Madiba’s dream of a better South Africa 67 books at a time

By Faeza
20 July 2015

National Book Week: 67 Minutes for 67 Books

The sixth annual National Book Week (NBW) celebrates Nelson Mandela Day with a “Call To Action” for individuals and businesses to join the Buy a Book Campaign: 67 Books for 67 Minutes. The campaign is run by the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) to stimulate and grow the local book industry by developing readers and supporting South African authors. NBW will take place on September 7-13, 2015.

This July, as the nation honours Nelson Mandela’s legacy, the campaign calls on corporate organisations to turn their 67 minutes of service into R 6700 for 67 Books by South African authors. Joining the “Call To Action” is an investment in the country’s book industry.

It was Madiba who said that “It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller may never die in Africa, that all the children of the world may experience the wonder of books."

NBW invites you to help build Madiba’s dream of a better South Africa 67 books at a time.

Guided by Madiba’s passion for education and reading, the Buy A Book Campaign is about putting books in the homes of underprivileged families and individuals who can otherwise not afford them.

Cape Media 

NBW has partnered with Cape Media Corporation (CMC), which will use their annual Coporate Social Investment Programme to join in the Buy A Book Campaign. Cape Media will donate books to Children at the Ncedolwethu Ophanage in Mfuleni, and  the Dangerous Heroes girls’ soccer team in Phillipi Township.

CMC is a leading communications company which specialises in business-business publications. They publish 15 titles covering virtually every aspect of business, industry and trade and investment, including their award-winning flagship title, Leadership magazine.

CMC embraced the campaign immediately because it’s a rare opportunity to not only donate books, but to  share the joy of reading with the children in their mother tongue, as Nelson Mandela himself once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart,” says Robert Arendse, Managing Director.

Why the Buy A Book Campaign is so important.

The Buy A Book Campaign aims to create better-informed and self-reliant communities by investing in the literacy of young people and underprivileged adults. The campaign is motivated by studies that show that children who grow up with books have stronger chances at greater educational attainment; easily transcend hurdles often imposed by the low educational levels of their parents, their community’s grim economics or the political systems of their country.

It is also true that books open readers to a world of knowledge. For children, they are exposed to 50% more words in a book than television.  Reading regularly not only builds brain power but enriches the imagination. Hence, by simply encouraging people to read, we guide them towards possibilities beyond their immediate limitations.

The National Book Week takes place annually in September. It was conceived six years ago by the SABDC, in partnership with the Department of Arts & Culture. It was first organised in response to a study commissioned in 2007 by the South African Book Development Council. The study, which focused on the reading and book buying habits of adult South Africans, showed that only 14% of South Africans are avid book readers and a mere 5% of parents read to their children. The survey also indicated that 51% of households in South Africa did not have a single book in their home.

As Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) puts it, “books are important development tools and a strong reading culture is paramount to fueling growth in South Africa. The magic of books carry us beyond ourselves. So when you give a book, you give a person a kind of licence to reach for their dreams.”

To find out more about NBW programmes around the Country, visit their  facebook for regular updates.

Story by: On-Point PR: 011 482 6155