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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Who was who at the book week?


The 16th National Book Week Festival ran from September 15 - 20 at the National Theatre parking yard. Below are some publishing firms that exhibited their works.

Macmillan Uganda Publishers Ltd, a subsidiary of the Macmillan group of companies with an experience of more than 150 years of book publishing focuses on the development, promotion and widespread distribution of educational materials from pre-primary to university level.

MK Publishers Ltd., largely deals in major course books for primary and secondary schools. So here were books like MK Primary School Atlas, MK Primary School Dictionary, MK HIV/Aids Awareness Kit etc.National Library of Uganda –the government agency responsible for coordinating the development of public libraries in Uganda among others, exhibited some interesting titles.

Baroque Publishers (U) Ltd., had novels, plays, poetry and children’s story books. The plays included Victor Byabamazima’s Roadblock, one of last year’s national book week literary award winner.

Now for the Swahili lovers, the Institute of Kiswahili Research came all the way from Tanzania and exhibited works on Kiswahili grammar, phonology, oral and written literature, bilingual dictionaries including subject and scientific dictionaries.

Wavah Books were quite unique. From titles such The Shame of Dishonest Service, The Structure for Land in Buganda to Gordon B.K. Wavamuno: The story of an African Entrepreneur. All three titles were there, and many books in local languages.

Fountain Publishers Ltd., no doubt a giant in Uganda’s book industry had quite an interesting package. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya: Through Intricate Corridors to Power, The Buganda Factor in Uganda Politics, Principles of Land Law in Uganda, A Visitor’s Guide to Uganda, Rwanda the Land of a Thousand Hills, etc.

The East African Educational Publishers Ltd., really need no introduction. Their creative writers’ list has acclaimed figures like Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Chinua Achebe, Francis Imbuga, David Rubadiri, Okot p’Bitek and books by these great men and more were on display.

The children were given special attention by Uganda Children’s Writers & Illustrators Association (UCWIA) with all kinds of children’s plays.

Longhorn Publishers (U) Ltd who are considered the leading regional publisher of educational books in East Africa had a list on comprehensive primary course text books. Some titles included Understanding Integrated Science, Understanding Mathematics and Comprehensive Social Studies. So absurd the display happened when children are back to school!

Other exhibitors included Gusto Ltd., Kamalu Ltd., Pearson Longman Uganda, Femrite and a few others.

Let it be said that the books mentioned here are quite nothing compared to what was on the ground. You needed to be there to appreciate the vibrancy of the literary world of East Africa that we inhabit.

--Daily Monitor, Monday September 22, 2008