Loads of great activities for children and teens in SA Book Fair’s virtual Magic Tent


The South African Book Fair has gone 100 percent virtual this year which means the always popular Magic Tent is now accessible to children, teens, parents, caregivers, librarians and families anywhere.

Taking place from September 11th to 13th, the all-free Children’s Programme has a range of activities that provide entertainment, engagement and stimulation for children of all ages in all South African languages. 

The programme runs across all three days of the fair and features:

  • Marimba, the mother of music presented by renowned isiZulu storyteller Zanele Ndlovu. A wonderful story about how musical instruments came into existence. 

  • A selection of stories and poems for young children and teens from African countries - featuring Oswald Okaitei and Selassie from Ghana and John Mukeni and Griffins Ndhine from Kenya. 

  • Adventure in Storyland, a highly entertaining puppet show for young children presented by the Spellbound Puppets team.

  • Mommy Bloggers show us Innovative ways to get crafty using everyday household items as part of an upcycling initiative by the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa. Featuring contributions by Maryam Bibi, Mira Naidu, Chanene Ablett, Clare Petra Matthes, Funso Fatunla and Sam Choles.

  • Performances of internationally acclaimed theatre production, Red Earth Revisited. A captivating multi-lingual (English/Xhosa) production, the innovative sets and puppets were devised for the production by Onny Huisink, in collaboration with the renowned Keiskamma Art Project in Hamburg, South Africa.   

  • Fly with FunDza - New writers take off! Emerging writers Tamica Mopp and Amanda Ngema talk about their writing journeys and spreading their wings under the guidance of their mentors, Sifiso Mzobe and Marche Arends. This panel discussion is hosted by Zilungile Zimela.

  • Poetry for Young Adults with Xolile Mabuza, Unathi Magubeni and others.

  • The fascinating journey of visual artist, Clyde Beech. A look into the journey and skills of visual artist and storyteller, Clyde Beech (Kwezi; Supa Strikas) who grew up in adverse circumstances on the Cape Flats but was driven and motivated to reach his dream of becoming a professional artist.  

  • A panel discussion on how to create and sustain a reading culture as part of creating a reading nation. Join Elinor Sisulu, Sally Partridge (Sea Star Summer) and Karen Theunissen (I Have Brown Skin and Curly Hair) for an exciting conversation about what is on offer for the children with Lorato Trok (The Forgotten Scientist: The Story of Saul Sithole).

From toddlers to grandparents, all are welcome to visit The Magic Tent and to revel in the affirmative power of books and reading − for the first time or the thousandth time.

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