There aren’t many events where readers, travelers, writers, and introverts, in general, could meet without having to mingle around, except for book clubs, art exhibitions and now book fairs. It has been a very busy year for our city with all the exhibitions, concerts and shows which have been continuously on the run. Now, all that may have been as welcoming as a Christmas family, yet there are some whose idea of fun is all about getting their hands on as many books as they could out of one book fair. We now have a whole generation of curious individuals partaking in different areas of their liking. Following that, organizations are striving to create the platform where those individuals could meet professionals within their passion. Just this year, we’ve had Addis International Film Festival, Hotel show, ICT Expo just to mention some of the events and now “ንባብ ለህይወት”/ Reading for Life.
The Third “ንባብ ለህይወት”/ Reading for Life Book fair opened for public on Saturday 29th July at the Exhibition Center to be sealed tomorrow 1st August 2017. The event as always is in partnership with Goethe Institut, Book Light, Book World, AAU Kennedy library, AAU Press, Berhanena Selam Printing Enterprise, Addis Ababa City Administration Youth and Sports Bureau, የ.ወ.ስ.ድ, Ministry of Education, and Addis Ababa Education Bureau.
What makes this year’s event different from the other two fairs hosted before?
We have been able to sit with Project Coordinator Temesgen Mengistu to have an insight on what’s been going on over the past three days so far. He told us that this year, over 200 partakers are involved which is more than they expected, there were lots of book launches, Public figures as guest speakers and readers at the evening poetry and other types of books reading program. Not only a lot of book stores were involved but also a Q&A session was organized by the team for students as well as another one by Gebeyanu promotion hosted by Solomon Shumye. Addis Ababa Press also launched students’ thesis online for the first time. He added that it’s safe to say about 120,000-150,000 people visited the book fair including the previous ones.
Public Figures include: Eng. Tadele Bitul, Dr, Dagnachew Assefa, Yetnebersh Nigusse, Haregeweyn Assefa, Endalegeta Kebede, Dr. Edilu Wakijira wherein tomorrow, Zenebe Wela and Alemayehu Gelagay are expected to join.
Books Launched: ማር የመሆን ዜማ by Fikadu Getachew ፣ አንድ ሀሙስ by Rediet Terefe፣ ከሴተኛ አዳሪ የተኮረጀ ሳቅ by Belay Bekele Weya፣ የዝምታ ወንጭፍ by Abyssinia Fantahun፣ የእምነት ወጎች by Tigist Mamo ፣ ግጥም አንባቢ by Yeabsera Assefa፣ የተገለጡ አይኖች by Solomon Moges, Behailu G/Egziabher and Efrem Seyoum are expected to launch theirs at the closing ceremony tomorrow.
The closing ceremony will include book launches, readings, guest speakers, and awards. As always, one pronounced Author will be awarded a gold pen and winner of the Q&A session hosted by Solomon Shumye will be awarded a Computer.
Here’s a personal message from Temesgen Mengstu:
“Reading For Life is a big project, our aim is to develop a reading culture amongst our society especially the youth. People may ask what the problem is to start with, well, the issue is that it’s been ages since the culture of reading was first introduced to our country be it through religious practices or others, but it hasn’t gone any further. There isn’t much growth recorded. You can say that our economic growth as a country is an indication that we don’t do much reading because, a generation that reads is creative and is familiarized with technology, but you don’t really see that here because we don’t read. I am not saying there is no reading culture in general, there is, but it’s just not where it should be. So our aim again is to develop that culture for the growth of our country. And so this project should be supported from government level to the society. Parents should guide their kids through reading, we all have to work together creating a synergy. Next year, hopefully, we will get to host the Book Fair at a continental level, there are other African countries known for their great literary works, countries like Egypt, Algeria, Tanzania, Mali and Timbuktu, and so we’ll strive to create that platform making it bigger and bigger every year.”