Gcina Mhlophe African Language Book Launch
Celebrating Language, Heritage & Culture, Cape Town 23rd February 2016
Coinciding with International World Read Aloud Day, on the 24th of February 2016, Biblionef launched two storybooks by Gcina Mhlophe titled, “Our Story Magic” and “Stories of Africa.” This was part of a 3-day event celebrating language, heritage, and culture.
Biblionef received funds from the National Lotteries Commission and the National Arts Council to reprint the books in all eleven languages! And who better to speak about the books than the Author, Gcina Mhlophe! Learners from Thandokhulu High School in Mowbray, Cape Town attended the launch along with a few librarians from around Cape Town. Dr. Gcina Mhlophe had the crowd hanging on to her every word as she told stories from the two titles in both English and isiZulu.
How do we even begin to sum up our mother language celebration? The result was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. People, from various walks of life came together to celebrate their mother tongue, culture and heritage. The celebration grew from being merely a “Biblionef Event” to being a joyous occasion where everyone present could embrace where they came from and share stories about who they are. The main message that radiated throughout the entire three-day celebration was about how important it is to be proud of one’s mother tongue and embrace any differences that may exist between languages and people. Language, although vastly different, should not be a tool to keep people apart, instead, it should be used to bring people closer together. This message was repeated by the majority of the speakers throughout the three days including; Professor Ndebele (Biblionef’s Patron and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town), Bonnie Horbach (Consulate General of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Cape Town) and Gcina Mhlophe (Acclaimed South African Storyteller, Author, Singer).