World Book Day 2015
The South African Reading Foundation, Ditshego Media & O.R. Tambo International Airport
Partner To Spread A Culture Of Reading Books
Johannesburg, Wednesday 23 April 2015 – Today the South African Reading Foundation (SARF) (@ReadabookSA on Twitter) in partnership O.R. Tambo International Airport and Ditshego Media hosted the World Book Day South Africa celebration at the University of Johannesburg’s Auckland Park Bunting Road campus (APB), at the Con Cowan Theatre. The theme for the event was “readers are leaders” illustrating how reading has assisted leading professionals to excel in their respective careers.
According to the South African Books Development council only 14% of South Africans read books regularly, 1% of South Africans buy books from bookstores, 85% of South Africans don’t have access to a nearby library and 95% of parents don’t read books to their kids.
The call to action for the World Book Day celebration was to request that attendees promote reading in their households and start book clubs in their communities. The venue was packed to capacity with 200 students coming out to listen to authors, business leaders and celebrities speak about the impact which reading books have had on their lives and respective careers.
“Reading improves your attention span, discipline, confidence and it promotes social cohesion. Corporates need to support the development of a reading culture by supporting initiatives which promote reading and projects such as mobile libraries.” Said Bongiwe Pityi the General Manager of O.R. Tambo International Airport.
The Chairman of the South African Reading Tebogo Ditshego emphasised the importance of adopting a reading culture to tackle challenges such as unemployment. “There a very few comprehensive studies which have been done about benefits of reading books for leisure. However a study released in 2013 conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on education and reading (based in the United Kingdom), revealed that reading books for leisure is the single most important indicator of a teenager’s future success. For our country to become globally competitive we need to spread the love of reading.”
Speakers at the World Book Day Celebration included Actor Thapelo Mokoena, Morning Live news anchor Ayanda-Allie Paine, eNCA news anchor Cathy Mohlahlana, Social Entrepreneur and Former Miss Earth South Africa Catherine Constinides, author and eNCA news anchor Joanne Joseph and the programme director was Live Amp Presenter Pearl Thusi.
The hash tags #ReadersAreLeaders and SARF’s initiative @ReadaBookSA were trending in Johannesburg on Twitter yesterday increasing the audience which received messages which were shared at the event.
Distributed by Ditshego Media
Media contact: Tebogo Ditshego
Tel: +27(0)11 513 3405
About the South African Reading Foundation
The South African Reading Foundation (SARF) is an organisation which encourages young South Africans to read books and also creates access to reading material. Through social media initiative @ReadabookSA, SARF has attracted over 30,800 followers on Twitter and has become the most followed book club in South Africa.
About O.R. Tambo International Airport
O.R. Tambo International Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Africa. Education forms part of the airport’s Socio-Economic Development (SED) focus areas.
Through various sustainable projects, such as science laboratory and school shoe donations, book reading sessions and establishing food gardens, the airport contributes to the wellbeing of societies around its vicinity, with the aim of building a better, more educated South Africa.