21 September 2018
9th Funda Mzantsi Championship!
Building Creative Minds
The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) through its outreach unit, Centre for the Book (CFB) in collaboration with the Department of Correctional Services and the George Municipality will be hosting the 9th Funda Mzantsi Competition (FMC) in George from 1 to 5 October 2018 under the theme “Building Creative Minds”.
A total of 94 book clubs will compete in this year’s Reading Competition and more than 900 spectators are expected.
The Funda Mzantsi project was started as part of the NLSA’s mandate to promote a culture of reading amongst South Africans. The project was in response to a survey conducted by the South African Book Development Council in 2007 on general reading habits of South African communities. The survey revealed that South Africa is not a reading nation. The NLSA, through the Centre for the Book intervene by way of establishing book clubs in communities and schools.
The FMC is an annual national reading competition, where book clubs from across the country, compete against each other in four categories namely: Reading, Debate, Book Review and Spelling Bee. In this the 9th Funda Mzantsi Competition, book clubs will compete in the 11 official South African languages. This year’s competition will also see the participation of a book club of visually impaired persons.
In 2010 the NLSA grew the project by introducing the Funda Mzantsi Reading Competition to assess the reading and comprehension abilities of the established book clubs. In 2013 the Department of Correctional Services joined hands with the NLSA and became a strategic partner in the hosting of the Competition. George Municipality hosted the competition in 2014 and in 2015 became a full partner, forming an integral part of the logistics behind organising an event of this magnitude.
“We acknowledge the importance of intensifying the promotion of a culture of reading as it forms the basis for Basic and Further Education. It is within this context that we have experienced a growth in interest in the establishment of book clubs. The successful hosting of the Funda Mzantzi Reading Competition in George is truly a testament of what can be achieved through partnerships,” said Mr Trevor Marillac, Senior Manager Social Services, George Municipality.
Book clubs in Correctional Centres ensure that offenders remain focused amid their circumstances so that they can reach their full potential. The education and skilling of inmates has been successfully implemented as a rehabilitation programme engineered to mould inmates to return to their communities as better, changed and law-abiding citizens. The Funda Mzantsi Reading Competition offers the opportunity to offenders to refocus and channel their energies in mapping their destinies by means of educating themselves for a better future.
''The Funda Mzantsi Reading Competition is a flagship project of the NLSA, aimed at inculcation a reading culture in South Africa. We have witnessed the increase in book club registration this year which tells us that the Competition is growing enormously. Communities are responding positively and the love of reading amongst the youth is encouraging,” said Prof MD Rocky Ralebipi-Simela, National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa.
The 9th Funda Mzantsi Championship will take place in George, Western Cape from 1 to 5 October 2018.
About the National Library of South Africa
The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) is the custodian and provider of the nation’s key knowledge resources. The NLSA is mandated by the National Library of South Africa Act to collect and preserve the documentary heritage and to make it accessible. This ensure that knowledge is preserved for posterity and that information is available to all.
Last published 21 September 2018