The founder of the NBF is Helvi Wheeler, an Instructional Technology Designer at the Poly, who has to date published more than eight children’s books. She said that the fair, held under the theme, “Harnessing knowledge through Namibian literature,” also aims to help foster an appreciation of the diversity of Namibian literature and language through the power of reading.
“This event not only showcases and promotes books, authors and publishers, but also aims to encourage and create an interest around the culture of reading and creative writing in Namibia. It serves to inspire Namibians to write their own stories,” Wheeler said. She encouraged those who attended the fair to buy books from Namibian authors and publishers and to donate these books to the Poly library or the Grootfontein Public Library, the beneficiary of this year’s ‘Donate-a-Book’ Project organised by the Poly library.
The fair was addressed by the Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who commended the organisers for initiating the project. She said it is an innovative idea and one that greatly supports Government’s efforts to promote a culture of reading and the imparting of knowledge as a key requisite for realising Namibia’s development goals. The emerging trend of book production and publication by Namibians is also a welcome development that needs to be encouraged, the Prime Minister remarked.
“It is important not only that we as a nation promote the culture of reading as a way to promote effective learning at schools and thus improve examination results, but our young people need to be interested in reading in general beyond the school curricula materials, to become generally informed and knowledgeable. This is very empowering because it provides a context for school learning and the application of the knowledge and skills acquired at school. It also gives them a better understanding of the world, the historical and contemporary global issues and how they affect the world and the global interactions,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.