7th Funda Mzantsi Championship set to take place in George

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

The 7th Funda Mzantsi championship is set to take place under the theme “Developing Creative Minds” from 3 to 5 October 2016 at the Eden Church and Imizamo Yethu High School in George, Western Cape.

Hosted in partnership with the Departments of Arts and Culture and Correctional Services, Funda Mzantsi championship is an initiative spearheaded by the Centre for the Book, an Outreach Unit of the National Library of South Africa responsible for promoting reading, writing and publishing in all local languages and ensuring access to books. One of the key focus areas is to establish book clubs in schools, communities and Correctional Centres in order to inculcate a culture of book reading targeting youth.

“The Funda Mzantsi Championship strives to instill the love for reading, improve book reviewing techniques and cultivate the ability to publicly engage in fruitful debates” said Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi.

“The National Library of South Africa is committed to encouraging South Africa to read and our Centre for the Book is doing this through the Funda Mzantsi Championships.  From humble beginnings, we started the project with only six book clubs.  The Centre for the Book donated books to the schools and the learners were encouraged to read and discuss these books during their book club programmes,” commented Prof Rocky Ralebipi-Simela, National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa.   

Under the theme for 2016 "Developing Creative Minds", this book club reading competition will see book clubs competing in three categories: Book Reading, Book Review and Debate in eight languages.  Among the participants will be book clubs from correctional facilities where offenders participate as part of a rehabilitation through reading programme.  Winners of the competition receive medals and trophies.    

"The competition is growing by leaps and bounds and we see the impact that this competition has had over the years. Currently about 30 book clubs have registered to participate in the 7th Funda Mzantsi Championship.  We are so excited to be making a difference in the quest to encourage South Africa to be a reading nation,” said Mandlakayise Matyumza, Director: Centre for the Book, National Library of South Africa.

Executive Mayor for George, Melvin Naik welcomed the national event. “The Funda Mzantzi Championship provides an established platform for book clubs from both schools and correctional facilities to exchange ideas and for scholars and offenders alike to challenge themselves on knowledge gained from a mutual love of reading. We are proud that George is the chosen venue for this prestigious three day event,” he said.

Department of Correctional Services’ Western Cape Regional Co-ordinator for Education and Training, Andile Nelani, said that the most important aspect of this year’s championships lies in the fact that the Department of Correctional Services is beginning to witness tangible results of rehabilitation and social reintegration among offenders.

This year, sees the participation of sponsor Old Mutual.