Golden Baobab at 2016 Asian Festival of Children’s Content
Golden Baobab was invited to speak and exhibit illustrations at the 2016 Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), held in Singapore. AFCC is an annual event organized by the National Book Development Council of Singapore to celebrate and promote the creation and appreciation of children’s book content, with a focus on Asian themes. The AFCC 2016 had over 100 local and international speakers, including authors, illustrators, publishers, media professionals and advocates from countries across Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. Golden Baobab was proud to be representing the African continent.
Like the African continent, Asia boasts of widely diverse cultures and languages. Both regions have a shared history of colonization and today even experience similar development challenges. Being invited to AFCC was an opportunity for Golden Baobab to get to know works and writers from Asia and vice versa. While children’s books from Africa and Asia may not be traveling widely to readers all over the world, it is collaborations and partnerships such as this one that begin to pave the way for increased awareness of children’s literature from our respective parts of the world.
At the festival, our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum spoke on various panels about the African children’s industry, its challenges and the role Golden Baobab is playing in the space. She discussed the transformative power of culturally sensitive stories on children and examined various possible models for the effective distribution of books. Deborah revealed various steps our sister company, African Bureau Stories, is taking to navigate publishing and upcoming titles.
Also part of the festival, finalists illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators were exhibited in Singapore at the Book Illustrators Gallery (BIG) from May to June. BIG is part of AFCC, and aims to showcase local and regional illustrators and artists and promote them to a wider audience. Importantly, it offers a platform for authors, publishers and the public to take note of illustrators showcased.
Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore
The finalist illustrations showcased eleven of the finest illustrators from 5 countries across Africa. The artists featured were:
Elizabeth Jeffery, South Africa (http://www.greenorebooks.co.za/)
Melany Pietersen, South Africa (www.melanypietersen.com & www.happyartworks.com)
Gyimah Gariba, Ghana (ggariba.tumblr.com)
Jillian Slabbert, South Africa (http://jiljarvis.co.za/)
Lorraine Alvarez, Zimbabwe (www.facebook.com/lorraine.alvarez.posen.art)
Mokoena Kobeli, South Africa (www.facebook.com/mokoena.kobeli1 or www.behance.net/mokoenakobeli)
Robert Foote, South Africa (www.facebook.com/robfooteillustration)
Setor Fiadzibey, Ghana (www.facebook.com/setor.fiadzigbey)
Shan Fischer, South Africa (www.shanfischer.com)
Wesley Van Eeden, South Africa (www.facebook.com/Resoborg)
Xanele Puren, South Africa (www.seesawdo.com)
Zineb Benjelloun, Morroco (www.facebook.com/ZNBillustrated)
Collage of finalist illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators
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