The fifth of Mogadishu Book Fair was held in the Somali capital attracting a larger number of participants compared to last year,
The Mogadishu Book Fair was set up in 2015 to promote books, reading, literature, and culture while bringing together authors, scholars, poets, booksellers, publishers, and the Mogadishu and Somali public. In the five years, it has been running, the fair has brought guests in their dozens to the capital of the East African nation that is slowly rebuilding after many years of conflict.
The director of Mogadishu Book Fair Mohamed Dini said this year their theme is access to learnt.
“We invited 42 authors and professors including 9 foreigners to take part this literature annual and we also called many Somalis inside and outside the country to engage with us this fair,” said Mohamed Dini.
Mohamed said the Books are going to exhibit here are different languages but most of them are the Somali language, adding that this Fair is meant to encourage the young Somali generation to read and write.
Nearly two thousand people most of them Somali youth are keening to attend this annual gathering at Hall near Mogadishu airport, where security heavily guarded.
Although,Some of the international guests are South Africa/Zimbabwe’s Panashe Chigumadzi, South African Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Kenya’s Nanjala Nyabola, and Kenyan storyteller John Namai.
Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, former investigative journalist and author articulates that ‘the general public should hold those in power accountable, and shouldn’t wait until there is nothing left to steal.’
“Whether you are a Journalist, Author, and a Musician, use the pen as your weapon. I use the pen to educate, entertain, and enlighten my society” says –Mzilikazi Wa Afrika Author and investigative journalist
Somali-Canadian novelist Fartumo Kusow has also commented the fear towards the Songs.
“There is fear towards songs in general. Parents are avoiding songs because they cannot differentiate the wrong children songs from the right ones. They think that they are all prohibited.”
Finally, the Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire has Concluded the Fifth of Mogadishu bookfair.
“Almost 3 decades our country had a weak government but today we have a fully functioning government that is well recognized internationally”. says Hassan Ali Khayre – Prime Minister of Somalia.
Khaire has also Praised the role of Somali Authors to the revival of the country’s literature.
“It was Honour to participate the close of the Mogadishu Book Fair, I commend the efforts of Somali intellectuals and Authors to present the country’s development and the revival of the literature.”Said Khaire.
The festival theme this year will be ‘Access to Learning.’