BULAWAYO – The two-day Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) returned to Zimbabwe’s second largest city yesterday after a two-year sabbatical.
Over 18 exhibitors — who include publishers and book sellers drawn from Harare, Gweru, Masvingo and Bulawayo — are participating in the book fair running under the theme “Making the book pay.”
According to ZIBF executive chairperson Blazio Tafirei, the book fairs this year are focusing on the new curriculum.
“This year the main highlight is the new curriculum. There are new learning areas in that curriculum so there is a lot of confusion and ignorance about what is happening.
“We have invited officials from the ministry of Education to explain . . . with a target on new learning areas, like the mass display, physical education, heritage studies and sports,” Tafirei said.
He blamed the two-year break on over-dependence on donor funding.
“I have been inspired by the turnout on the first day since we are coming back after a two-year break. We failed to hold our fairs due to financial challenges.
“The main problem is that we have been donor-funded throughout so we got used to it to such an extent that it became a problem as we thought someone must come and fund us,” Tafirei said.
The ZIBF boss added that the setback had taught them to be resourceful and self-reliant.
“This year we are entirely funding ourselves and don’t mind the bleeps and blunders as it is a learning process. We should never ever stop holding these fairs because of non-funding,” he said.
Last month, ZIBF failed to hold what was going to be the first exhibition this year in Masvingo.
After the Bulawayo event, ZIBF will hold the main one in July and the Mutare edition in September.