The Long and short project: Getting South Africans to read

The Long Story Short – African Literature Goes Digital project, launched by arts and culture entrepreneur Kgauhelo Dube, will host a series of events at which celebrities will read excerpts from material by writers from Africa and those who have left the continent.

Curated by award-winning writer Yewande Omotoso, the initiative has been endorsed by, among others, poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile.

Kgositsile, special adviser to Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, said the initiative had the potential to promote a culture of reading and writing.

“South Africa is confronted with the challenges of illiteracy. These challenges call for robust interventions to get South Africans to read; that is the only way to develop an informed society.”

Dube said the presentations would be packaged into free downloads to reach a mass audience. Her events management company, Kajeno Media, is in discussions with cellphone network providers to iron out the details of working together.

The arts and culture ministry will contribute funds through its Mzansi Golden Economy programme. The Goethe-Institut has committed funds towards events costs and marketing.

The inaugural Long Story Short project is at Centurion’s Olievenhoutbosch Library, south of Pretoria, on March 27. At the event TV soapie personality Hlubi Mboya, known for her roles in SABC’s Isidingo and eTV’s Rhythm City, will read Niq Mhlongo’s short story, eGoliwood Drama.

 

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