The 9th Funda Mzantsi national reading competition for book clubs will be held in George, Western Cape from 01 to 05 October 2018. This year promises to be an exceptional competition as 240 offenders will test their wits against 700 other reading, debating and spelling enthusiasts from book clubs across the country.
The competition, spearheaded by the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), was started in response to a survey conducted by the South African Book Development Council in 2007 which revealed that South Africa was not a reading nation.
The Funda Mzantsi competition has grown from four book clubs that participated in its inaugural year to 94 clubs participating in 2018. It is a testament that South Africans are indeed cultivating a love of reading as a way to liberate the mind, grow potential and broaden their world view.
DCS is a key strategic partner in the project and over 2 000 offenders engage annually in the elimination rounds, which start at correctional centre through to regional level. Only the cream of the crop make it through to the national competition. Each region sends its four best book clubs to the national competition.
Another feather in our cap is that this year, offenders will for the first time participate in all 11 official languages of South Africa.
DCS participated at national level for the first time in 2013. In the preceding three years only the Western Cape region participated.
The Southern Cape Management Area, which hosts the DCS contingent every year, is an ardent supporter and enabler of Funda Mzantsi. Find attached their newsletter that demonstrates how they mobilise the surrounding communities to attend and participate in the competition.