It began as demonstration to promote writers and the work of the South African Library for the Blind. As EC MEC for Arts and Culture, Xoliswa Tom said, “Be proud of what you do.”
Writers came in their traditional attire to support the cultures that make South Africans proud, ranging from Xhosa, Zulu, SiSwati and Sesotho. Thoko Mgwebi’s poetry opened WordFest 2009. The programme notes were written in three isiXhosa, Sesotho and Afrikaans.
The ceremony began with a welcome address by the Vice Chancellor of Rhodes University, Dr. Saleem Badat who shared his views and concerns about language and culture.
“Words can librate us and can imprison us,” Dr. Badat said. “Universities need to build a lasting relationship with local schools so that children of the present generation are not left behind due to a lack of literacy.”
Amanda Onamandla Mathe—FJP