31 May 2017

Thishiwe encourages youth to read African literature

In closing the African Literature month, actress Thishiwe Ziqubu gives us her top five favourite books

Thapelo Mokoena, Masasa Mbangeni and Thishiwe Ziqubu encouraged the youth to read books and get in touch with their African history in order to make an impact in the world.

These celebrities spoke at the World Book Celebration, an event which took place in Auckland Park, Johannesburg on Tuesday. The event aims at making reading "cool" in the townships and also promoting the culture of reading books for leisure.

In its fifth year running the event has attracted a number of people who want to inspire others by sharing how reading has opened their minds and given them opportunities. This year's celebrity guests included actors Thapelo, Masasa and Thishiwe.

Author of Kasi Nerd and founder of South Africa's biggest online book club @ReadAbookSA, Tebogo Ditshego, is one of the the organisers of the Book Celebration event and encouraged people to read as it has opened many doors for him. He said growing up in a township of Kagiso, reading was made "uncool" but he has dedicated his life to change that and in his book Kasi Nerd he talks about "Interllectualswag" which he describes as an insatiable appetite for knowledge  which makes a person attractive, cool and productive in society.

Thapelo Mokoena spoke about how reading helps him navigate through life and as an actor, writer and producer it is important to read.

"Books are rich with knowledge that can take you anywhere in life… We need to start reading our African books, our history so that we will know where we come from and we need to write our own history, because if we don't, we will never be heroes in our own stories," Thapelo said.

Award-winning actress, scriptwriter and director, Thishiwe said the knowledge she has acquired in reading African literature is tremendous.

Speaking to BET Africa, Thishiwe emphasised the importance of a reading nation and gave us her top five favourite books.

The Quiet Violence of Dreams – K Sello Duiker
Notes from the Underground – Dostoyevsky
Wretched of the Earth – Frantz Fanon
Sexing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson
Indaba My Children – Credo Mutwa

Thulile Gama