Overwhelming Response to City's Huge Literary Extravaganza

Cape Times (South Africa), June 17, 2009 | Go to article overview

Overwhelming Response to City's Huge Literary Extravaganza


BYLINE: AMANDEEP PARMAR

"WONDERFUL, we'll be around for a long time," is the verdict of Vanessa Badroodien, managing director of this year's book festival.

The fourth annual Cape Town Book Fair, the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa, closed yesterday after an estimated 57 000 people wandered through the doors of the CTICC for a feast of poetry readings, heavyweight debate and cappucino muffins.

Highlights included a meeting with cartoon satirist Zapiro and Professor Mahmood Mamdani discussing the problems in Darfur with his new book, Saviours & Survivors, with the literary extravaganza brought to a close by hip hop artists Rogue State Alliance performing poetry and songs from their new album.

Mamdani said: "The response has been overwhelming; there is so much excitement from the public who are interested in the topic and learning in general."

There were 305 exhibitors from 31 countries over four days, with authors particularly enthusiastic about the piloting of the Invitation Programme, which introduced 12 publishers from 12 African countries, lending a real international flavour to the event.

Most encouraging was the fact that, despite there being no official schools programme and it being an official school holiday, scores of children took to the fair on Monday accompanied by parents and teachers on their day off. …

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