Magazine article English Drama Media

25 Years of Journey to Jo'burg

Magazine article English Drama Media

25 Years of Journey to Jo'burg

Article excerpt

In April, Beverley Naidoo, author of celebrated children's novel Journey to Jo'burg, was joined by children's author Michael Rosen and southern African writers Gillian Slovo, Njabulo Ndebele and Ret'sepile Makamane at an event to celebrate 25 years since the book's publication. Journey to Jo'burg, the story of two children's quest to find their mother when their baby sister falls ill, brought the anti-apartheid message to new audiences of schoolchildren, teachers and librarians, and its powerful message of equality and nondiscrimination still resonates today.

The event, hosted by the School of Oriental and African Studies and supported by the British Council, was a chance for guests to celebrate the book's anniversary, and reflect more generally on the power of literature to convey political and social ideas. Michael Rosen delivered a stirring speech on the importance of stories to stimulate children's imagination and enable them to engage in critical thinking, while Beverley Naidoo provided a fascinating history of her book and its place in the anti-apartheid movement. The subsequent panel discussion spanned a wide range of topics, from the author's own literary influences to the need for a new activism to promote creativity in the classroom. …

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