Minister Dokora to Officially Launch Gweru Book Fair

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora is set to officially launch the recently founded Gweru International Book Festival (GIBF) next month at Civic Centre and Theatre in Gweru.

Founded by Gweru’s renowned poet and book writer, Ignatius Musonza, GIBF is a wholly new idea in the city and will be officially launched on the 15th of September with a key note address expected from Dr Dokora as Guest of honor.

Short addresses by Midlands State University and United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) representatives are expected, among others.

The festival is part of the International Literacy Day Commemorations which take place on the 8th of September every year but will be celebrated in Gweru through the festival from the 14th to the 16th of September.

In an exclusive interview with 263Chat, the festival Project Manager, Archibald Marwizi said Minister Dokora has already confirmed attendance and preparations are well on course.

“We approached the Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Senator Jason Machaya who assisted us in facilitating the invitation of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to launch the Book Fair.

“We are also expecting the presence of the Minister of State himself, the Provincial Administrator, a representative from UNESCO, the Gweru Mayor (Charles Chikozho), MSU reps, corporate leaders and several other delegates,” he said.

Marwizi says despite the book festival being centered on the book and the culture of reading and writing, the event will encompass diverse activities which include the creative and entertainment side to education.

He said the festival is a family event seeking to help develop and nature talent in a uniquely creative way.

“The main focus of the festival is to promote literacy and talent development that will not be just education or academic focused but learning from skills in different artistic fields.

“Our book festival is embracing every form of art and bringing an educational development thrust that says even if you are not strong in the academics let’s see your strength in poetry, dance, music, fashion and other visual arts and we celebrate around all those artistic innovations and creativity,” Marwizi said.

The festival will cater for all age groups ranging from Pre-School, Primary School, Secondary School, Tertiary (Colleges and Universities) to the open age group focusing on the general public.

As Marwizi says, the festival will be a free entry event and partnered by several corporates and institutions which include Econet’s Ruzivo digital online learning platform, the Midlands State University, Next Investments (Accounting firm), G.M Records which will record the official GIBF song, Size Investments, Gweru City Council, Oasis Print Hub, Tel One, Colleges, schools and several other stakeholders who have already come on board.

This year is the second year running with the inaugural event having been held last year with a soft launch.
Musonza says as an artist the idea of the festival is a way of ploughing back to the community to help nature other talents outside the traditional educational systems.

“We started this Festival last year with a soft launch at Gweru Sports Club and this is the second year running which will see its official launch.

“As an artiste this is my way of giving back to the community where they can participate and benefit through expressing themselves and identify that talent that they possess outside the academic fora and develop it so that they can make a living out of it,” he said.

The festival will include a family fun day, exhibitions, book and music launches, workshops, competitions and awards from different categories which will include debates, public speaking, poetry, music, dance, story writing, visual arts, film, fashion and talent show, academic paper presentations, a Jumping castle for kids and several other activities.

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