Boost For Indigenous Xhosa Literature and Promoting Culture of Reading among African Language Speakers.

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22 Feb 2006

The Minister of Arts & Culture, Dr. Z. Pallo Jordan will launch two new publications, ‘Imida’and ‘Umthi Ngamnye Unentlaka Yawo’ in the government-sponsored initiative to promote writing and reading in the indigenous Xhosa language.

The event to will see the launch of ‘Imida,’ a collection of Xhosa essays and ‘Umthi Ngamnye Unentlaka Yawo’, an anthology of Xhosa short stories. This will take place at the Gugas’thebe Community Cultural Centre, Washington Avenue in Langa township from 2pm on Saturday, 24 February 2006.

Both books have been edited by cultural activist and prolific writer, Sindiwe Magona.

The project is a joint venture between the Department of Arts & Culture and Xhosa Realities, a publishing initiative spearheaded by renowned writer and cultural activist, James Mathews to encourage writing and reading in Xhosa.

In 2006 the project launched three new books, including ‘Amazwi Amatsha’ edited by Abner Nyamande, ‘Kubantwana baba ntwana bam’ by Sindiwe Magona and ‘Ndenzeni’ by Nomvuyo Ngceleni.

Founder of the project, James Matthews said: “The project was launched to address the scarcity of literature in the Xhosa language. We are very glad that when we approached the Minister about the project, he embraced it with both arms and has provided us with all the material support to help us get off the ground.

“I have always felt it is imperative to alleviate the problem of lack of books in African indigenous languages. One hopes this will result in the elevation of the Xhosa language through both corporate and public support to make this literature accessible to more people, especially in schools.”

Minister Jordan hopes that the Xhosa Realities project would spur other African language speakers to play an active role in the writing of indigenous literature, thus boosting their status and profile.

“It is the mandate of the Ministry to promote language equity as enshrined in the constitution of the country. We are glad that someone of the calibre of renowned writer like James Matthews has taken it upon to do something to promote writing in Xhosa. We hope more people will take an active interest in promoting writing and reading in African languages,” said Jordan.

Minister Jordan will deliver the keynote address at the book launch this Saturday.

Event: Book Launch: Imida and …
Place: Gugasithebe Community Cultural Center
Address: Washing Avenue, Langa township
Time: 2 – 4pm
Date: Saturday 23 February 2006
Admission: FREE

For further details, call Sandile Memela, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Arts & Culture at 082 800 3750 or Premi Appalraju, Media Liaison Officer at 082 903 6778