A visiting delegation from Angola Arts Society says Botswana Society for the Arts (BSA) must utilise its rich tradition and vibrant culture of writing and publishing in various forms to elevate children’s literature. Speaking to Arts & Society on an impromptu meeting, Head of the Angolan delegation, Elcidio Oliveira Delasalete said it is important to consider hosting a “annual and national children’s literary festival” as a way of celebrating the young writers and discussing issues that affect that sector.
From what the delegation observed, he says “whilst there is no denial that children’s textbooks are vital, it is also true textbooks alone cannot fulfill the hunger and enthusiasm for general and supplementary reading in the young people.”
Delasalete also says there is need for “a stand-alone, annual and national children’s literary festival which induces a culture of writing and publishing in various forms for the young”. He says the idea behind the children’s literary festival – where there will be interactive literary activities for children ÔÇô is to not only “catch them young” but to resuscitate the dwindling reading culture amongst the young.
He also says whilst there might be events in Botswana to celebrate children’s books, these “fall short of what is required to offer a larger space for children to totally enjoy their imagined worlds”. He also says there should be a book prize for the Outstanding Children’s Book as these would “arouse an enduring desire to write and read”.