Mda tells kids story in Sesotho

11 September 2015 - 02:53 By Staff Reporter

The shortage of local books for children makes it difficult for them to learn about their society and environment, says award-winning South African author Zakes Mda. "Though having access to international literature is not a bad thing because children get to learn about the world, there are not enough books for them locally," he said.The author was speaking ahead of the Jozi Book Fair this weekend. The theme of this year's festival is "children's literature and childhood".Tomorrow, Mda will launch a Sesotho version of his first children's book, Penny and Puffy, co-written with his friend Mpapa Mokhoane 18 years ago. It tells the story of a puffin and penguin who grow up as brother and sister in a family of penguins on Robben Island.Mda said the book was written to help teach children about diversity and tolerance for those who are different from what is perceived as "normal".The annual weekend-long literary festival boasts more than 120 events and activities, including author readings, storytellers, jazz, theatre, open mic poetry, films, workshops and panel discussions.Other authors to look out for at the fair include Cuban Enrique Perez Diaz, Ronnie Govender, Keorapetse Kgositsile, James Matthews and Don Mattera.

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