Fun for the whole family at the South African Book Fair 2019

The SA Book Fair kicks off on September 6 and one lucky family stands to win tickets and books valued at R1,000

15 August 2019 - 13:16 By South African Book Fair
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The 2019 South African Book Fair is jam-packed with activities that combine fun with a deeply enriching experience, making it the perfect day out for families. 

Taking place from September 6 to 8 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, experts in learning and teaching materials will be on hand to share their insights with parents, guardians and children on what books to read for learning and fun.

Among the many family highlights is Stories of Africa, a multi-lingual storytelling by activist and poet Gcina Mhlophe, whose traditional tales of Africa deepen our understanding of history and encourage children to read.

Also not to be missed is the acclaimed Dance of the Dung Beetles, which sees scientist Marcus Byrne and writer Helen Lunn bring to life the mysterious lives of the creatures through 3,000 years of history and mythology.

Free performances take place in the National Book Week Magic Tent. From toddlers to grandparents, all are welcome to join in a celebration of the affirmative power of books and reading that includes:


  • An appearance by The Gruffalo and a multilingual reading of Julia Donaldson’s engaging story.
  • Illustrator Toby Newsome entertaining the young ones with Gogo’s List, the acclaimed Ghanaian children’s book.
  • isiZulu storyteller Zanele Ndlovu bringing ancient tales to life through uMakhwenyana accompanied by the strings of her indigenous musical instruments.
  • Yes Yanga! coming to life through a spirited sharing by the much-adored Refiloe Moahloli of her latest children's book, in English, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
  • Appearances by Funda Bala, our delightful National Book Week reading promotion mascot.
The National Book Week's Magic Tent: SABF 2018.
The National Book Week's Magic Tent: SABF 2018.
Image: South African Book Fair

An exciting focus on the role of visual storytelling can be experienced in multiple ways at the fair:

  • The ongoing Illustrator’s Exhibition, which features the work of children’s book illustrators Mogau Kekana and Toby Newsome, and comic book illustrators Loyiso Mkize, Clyde Beech and Nathi Ngubane.
  • Find Your SA Art Heroes: Renowned art expert Dr Cobi Labuscagne and designer Lauren Mulligan take youngsters on a journey of discovery through the world of contemporary South African art and artists, featuring the works of Mary Sibande, Zander Blom, Banele Khoza, Billie Zangewa and many more.
  • Ready, Steady, DRAW! Children's book illustrators Mogau Kekana, Toby Newsome and Qaps Mngadi, and comic book illustrators Nathi Ngubane, Loyiso Mkize and Clyde Beech demonstrate their skills in a live drawing session.

Although schools are prioritised, there are a limited number of tickets available for parents and children to attend the fair’s dedicated Schools' Programme. This full day of storytelling, talks and workshops for pupils and educators on September 6 focuses on nurturing a love of books and reading. Highlights include a superhero drawing session with award-winning author Sifiso Mzobe.

With plenty to eat and drink, easily accessible parking, public transport and more than 100 authors, poets, storytellers, creators and expert facilitators, the three-day event is not to be missed.

  • For more information and the full programme visit
  • Book your tickets now via Webtickets. Tickets are also available at the door.
  • Daily admission tickets cost just R10, with free entrance for children under 16.


One lucky family can win four weekend access tickets to the SA Book Fair and four session tickets, with a number of kids' books (valued at R500) as an added bonus.

Entry details:

Step 1: Follow SABF on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and Sunday Times Books on Twitter or Facebook.

Step 2: Create a tweet, Instagram or Facebook post sharing the reason(s) you read. (The post will essentially read "I #readbecause...")

Step 3: Include the hashtag #SABF2019 in your tweet and/or post and voila, you've entered!

Entries close on August 23. Happy sharing!

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