Reading changes lives. Books change lives but attending a book festival is a privilege. This was a message from Open Book Festival director Mervyn Sloman during their bash at the Book Lounge on Tuesday night.
The event was attended by Netherlands Consulate General Sebastiaan Messerschmidt, City of Cape Town councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe, authors Melinda Ferguson and Professor Pumla Gqola among others.
Mr Nqavashe, on behalf of the City of Cape Town, welcomed everyone to the city and expressed their support for the Open Book Festival.
“This [festival] happens at the heart of the City of Cape Town and this year it’s happening within the centenary of former president Nelson Mandela. You are aware that he was passionate about education and reading in particular. I’m excited and it’s a great privilege to be among the international authors that are here.”
Mr Nqavashe said they want to promote the culture of reading among young people.
“This festival builds a culture of reading among the youth of Cape Town. We have library projects that monitor book related events throughout the city. This year, we had a unique march. We marched for reading with our library bus and it was successful.”
Newly appointed Consulate General Messerschmidt vowed to continue working with the Open Book Festival.
“We have to work together, but firstly we have to listen to what others have to say. This platform that’s the Open Book Festival allows artists and authors from across the globe to come together and build relationships and collectively address matters which resonate all around the world. This platform is essential for all of us who are consumers of all this beauty. In my mind, art speaks when we want to shy away from speaking.”
Nobantu Shabangu from Soweto was announced as the winner of the Leopard’s Leap message on a bottle competition.
Ms Shabangu, who’s in the city for the festival, said she’d entered 10 times. She won R5 000 and her winning message will be the label for a specific Leopard’s Leap wine.
The 2018 Open Books Festival kicked off this week at various venues around the city.
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