JoLiFe opens up the wonderful world of books

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

The Johannesburg Literary Festival, JoLiFe for short, is an ubutu-inspired youth development and life-long learning project of Sowetan and the City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services.

JoLiFe encourages the celebration and appraisal of literature and promotion of indigenous languages and South African and African writers.

It also highlights the importance of public libraries in making literature more accessible to communities.

JoLiFe also develops and promotes reading and learning for all, through free and guided access to information, focusing on literacy, early childhood development, youth empowerment and education support.

Its other activities include a book discussion session to encourage communities to read for recreation, especially African and South African literature.

They also include:

l A storytelling festival for primary school pupils, to celebrate the importance of this dynamic oral culture, to encourage and introduce them to reading and creative writing and artistic expression;

l A poetry festival for the youth to encourage participation in poetry sessions, together with established poets, and to showcase the youngsters' poetic talents in different languages and different poetry genres;

l And, the JoLiFe writing contest, of which latest winners - announced in Newtown in March - are Themba Tshabalala, Sbusiso Zinhle Nkosi, Charity Mkone, Mpho Mphafi, Martina Boshoff, Confidence Seleme, Bonga Vincent Matu, Charlotte Hillebrand, Olivea Fiorotto, Ramuhulu Phuluso, Promise Ngomane, Rhulani Chauke, Yandisa Keboletse and Winnie Mtimde.

Their submissions for poetry and short-story writing in the 13-15, 16-19 and 20-25 age groups were based on the theme, Traditions I hold Dear, inspired by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart.