Projects of the JBF
The JBF has a number of ongoing projects that are implemented throughout the year to further its aims and these include:
a .The Jozi Book Fair Children’s Project (Poetry Buddies)
- The Children’s Programme encourages play, reading, writing and art. The project prioritises work with children;
- Story-telling and Reading events for children that also emphasise indigenous language literature and stories;
- Reading and writing circles at primary schools, pre-primary schools, Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Centres in townships, orphanages, & the public;
- Publishing the writing by children (poetry and short stories); and creating partnerships to publish writing by children.
b. Tsohang Batjha (Arise Youth)
- Organises and prioritises work with youth in schools and orphanages in townships to play, read and write in all languages, and exposure to all art forms;
- Form book clubs in school and in their community to regularly ‘read the word and the world’;
- TB members write and produce their own quarterly newsletter for youth in schools and OVC’s, this includes the issues and challenges that they face as by youth;
- Participate in the JBF annual Festival, in the Schools Programme, conversing with authors, and showcasing their own work;
- Publishing the writing by youth (short stories);
The Library Monitors are young leaders at schools. They assist the JBF and fellow youth to:
- Coordinate their book clubs to meet regularly and to read;
- Encourage the formation of new book clubs, and teach members how to run their reading circles cooperatively and develop good reading and writing skills;
- They coordinate the JBF’s Book Boxes to the book clubs, teach book education, and ensure that books are returned in a good state;
- Transfer the reading and writing and leadership skills they learn at the JBF to their book clubs;
- Encourage their book club members to write for the TB newsletter and hand them to the JBF; and
- Attend monthly workshops at the JBF where they learn the skills they share with their book
Since the end of apartheid the demography of the inner city of Johannesburg has changed and it is now a home and a place to work for millions of South Africans and people from the continent. However, the city does has very few cultural amenities like theatres, rehearsal spaces, music schools, dance schools and other cultural spaces and amenities. There are few outlets for children and youth in their spare time (outside academic study), and they are not able to develop their artistic talent at an early age. For this reason Khanya College developed the TB Library and the Khanya Jazz School, both located in the House of Movements in Johannesburg.
d.Tsohang Batjha (TB) Library
- This is a platform for school youth in the inner city of Johannesburg to converge, share ideas and explore their creativity;
- Activities in the library includes: Art Classes, Reading and Writing, Homework, Meditation, Drama, Debates, Visits to museums and social outings.
- They have access to the JBF library and participate in the Annual JBF schools programme;
- TB library is held every Wednesday at 14:00 and Saturday at 9:00, at the House of Movements, 123 Pritchard Street, Johannesburg.
e. Khanya Jazz School
- The Khanya Jazz School aims to link music with ‘the word’ and hosts weekly music lessons and teach children and youth to play different musical instruments;
- Prepare learners for music examinations;
- Expose learners to reading and literature in general,
- Provide performance opportunities for learners at the annual JBF Festival and expose learners to established local and international jazz musicians, performance and the world of jazz.
- The Jazz school will take place every Friday at 14:00, at the House of Movements, 123 Pritchard Street, Johannesburg.
f.The Jozi Book Fair Readers Project assists with:
- Reading Skills Workshops to overcome barriers to reading amongst readers of all ages;
- Publications for Reading Circles or Book Clubs on how to set up and run reading circles; and develop good reading and writing skills;
- Reading, Spelling Bee and General Knowledge Competitions to promote interest in reading;
- High School Literature Circles that include teachers and students and promote reading and writing at schools;
- The Project works with various constituencies: schools, youth, women, workers and book clubs in communities and the public.
g.The Jozi Book Fair Writers Project assists with:
- Writing Workshops with all JBF constituencies to develop writing skills for diverse mediums; and feeds into JBF and Khanya College newsletters;
- A programme of interactions between local and international writers, especially those from Africa;
- Creative writing workshops for readers to encourage them to tell their stories;
- A ‘Meet the author’ programme to provide interaction between established writers and new writers;
- Conversations between readers and writers, to inform writers about the stories readers want to read, and to give writers feedback on their books.
h.The Annual Jozi Book Fair Festival
The JBF Festival is held over four days in September, from Thursday to Sunday, and is organised around the JBF’s work with its constituencies and the public throughout the year. The Jozi Book Fair annual event includes book launches, conversations with writers, art and literature exhibitions, a networking space for small publishers’; a discussion forum of Reading Circles, especially youth groups from townships in South Africa; and a space for local writers to interact with writers from Africa and the world.
i.The Jozi Book Fair Publishers Project
This project provides capacity-building support to writers and publishers to publish books affordably so that they are more accessible to readers. The JBF will participate in local, national and international publishing events to build partnerships and a broader movement.
The Jozi Book Shop aims to sell books affordably and accessibly to book clubs and the public. The book shop aims to bridge the gap between readers and ensure that books are affordable, and address the reality of life in the townships where libraries are few, no book shops and where bookshops exists, books are prohibitively expensive. The JBF also promotes the sale of local and indigenous language books.
k.“My Class” – the Jozi Book Fair newsletter
JBF produces a regular newsletter as a space for reading circles, new authors, established authors and publishers to keep in ongoing communication about new initiatives and activities. Reading circles publish reviews of books read, new books from small publishers will be advertised; and new writing (short stories, poetry, prose) will be published. The public is encouraged to write for My Class, and to write book reviews and this will be shared in the newsletter and on the website.
l.Jozi Book Fair Website
Access to the web is vital to grow a culture of reading and writing, and to build a strong publishing movement. The JBF website will provide:
- Assistance in the listing (and updates) of the reading circles or book clubs, their activities, what they reading, and their requests to authors and publishers;
- A platform where readers, authors, and small publishers can post their events and writing; and
- A marketing platform for new authors and small publishers.
n.The Jozi Book Fair Facebook page
The JBF runs a lively Facebook page to keep readers, writers and small publishers in touch with each other, and to promote networking among the partners of the Fair.