Kampala holds debate on Books and Their Use
“Books take you places” was the theme of this year’s celebrations of World Book and Copyright Day, 23rd April. This was also the topic of Fagil Mandy’s contribution to the public debate on books and their use, organized by the National Library of Uganda. Mr. Mandy, an education consultant, talked about how books take you places in your mind and therefore expand your outlook in life. He pointed out that he is what he is, an educationist, a consultant, a motivator because of reading widely.
Another speaker at the event, Mrs. Victoria Ssekitoleko a former Food and Agriculture Organization representative to China, whose passion for reading has made her establish community libraries in the Busoga region talked about “Books preserving our heritage.” She pointed out that books record what we think and the ideas we have as a nation, thus preserving our heritage and history. She further cautioned the audience about the need not to let foreigners write out history and heritage but rather ensure that we write it ourselves to avoid its distortion. Mr. Robert Bake, a motivational speaker who has written eight motivational books also spoke at the event, on the topic “You are what you read.” He explained how books he reads have shaped his thinking to become what he is now.
Mr Martin Okia, the Chairman of the National Book Trust of Uganda, and a representative from the Ministry of Education, both spoke at the debate. The audience, who enthusiastically participated in the discussions, included teachers, book sellers, authors, businessmen and women and students, among others. They all concluded that it is important to individually and nationally promote reading if Uganda is to develop intellectually as a nation.
Sanga is born on World Book and Copyright Day 23rd April 2015
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 April 2015 12:23 )
This year’s World Book and Copyright Day saw the launch of the Ugandan adaptation of the Dutch Children’s book “Miffy.” Launched by the Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Uganda, the book titled “Sanga is born” was adapted by a group of Ugandan authors, illustrators and designers and has been written in English, Luganda and Langi.
It is published by Mango Tree, a local producer of children’s educational materials and books. Speaking at the launch, the Deputy Ambassador said that “Miffy” the original character by Dick Bruna, a Dutch author is becoming more and more international as it has friends in other countries such as Pakistan and Japan and now has added a new friend “Sanga” in Uganda.
Very soon, children all over Uganda will be following and enjoying the life of Sanga.
We marched for” the Book” and brought traffic to a standstill
Over one hundred people both young and old, took part in a Book March on World Book and Copyright Day, 23rd April, 2015. The March was organized by the National Library of Uganda to celebrate books and their authors. The National Library was joined by Lions International, Gustro Bookshop, East African Book Publishers and the Uganda National Teachers’ Union, among others. Led by a brass band, the marchers started off at Wandegeya Mosque, through the traffic lights down to Bombo Road and ended up at the National Library premises on Buganda Road. Traffic came to a standstill as shouts of support for the book were heard from the public. The marchers were then addressed by the Director of the National Library of Uganda, Ms. Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa and the Secretary General of Uganda Teachers’ Union, Mr. James Tweheyo, who was the Chief Marcher. Both emphasized the need to boost literacy levels and to nurture a reading culture among all Ugandans by providing relevant reading materials in public libraries, as well as ensuring that all schools have libraries.
After the march, children from the disadvantaged community of Makerere Kikoni participated in a reading tent where they were able to draw colour, read aloud and also win prizes for the different activities. The National Library donated boxes of books to the participating schools.
The National Library of Uganda celebrates fiction authors
On 22nd April, 2015, as part of the three day activities to celebrate World Book and Copyright day, 23rd April, the National Library of Uganda organized an author reading event for Uganda fiction writers. The event, which was well attended by members of the press and journalists from several media houses was held to promote fiction writers and encourage more authors of fiction works to get their books published. Six authors read from their works, both published and non- published.
The readings were hailed as very interesting by the audience which was then tasked to choose who they thought was the best author of the day. Ms. Bonita Treasure Murungi was voted the best for her book “Friends” and was awarded the National Library of Uganda, fiction authors’ Award for 2015, the first ever such award by the National Library of Uganda. Ms. Bonita Murungi is a ten year old from Agha Khan Primary school.
Other authors who participated in the event include: Professor Timothy Wangusa who read a chapter of his yet to be published book 'Betwixt the Mountain and the Desert, Gerald Malinga who read from 'The dead man roars', Dr. Sr. Frances Nakiwala with a dramatization of her play entitled 'Eureka', Ms. Hilda Twongyeirwe who read a number of her poems, and another teenage author, Mr. Andrew Dembe of Uganda Martyrs s.s. Namugongo reading from “The Monster in Me' which he wrote as a 14 year old in 2012.
The National Library of Uganda is committed to promoting the development of a reading culture in Uganda and sees fiction works as a critical part of that initiative. Hence, the National Library of Uganda fiction author's award will be held on an annual basis.