South African Publishing Company Wins Prestigious Award!


New Africa Books, an independent book publisher specialising in local and multilingual children’s books, announced on 28 March that it had been named the winner of the Best Children’s Book Publisher in 2022 for Africa in the BOP Awards (Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year), held last week in Bologna, Italy. The award highlights publishers at the forefront of innovation for their editorial choices during the previous year, a prize that has
become known, according to online international publishing magazine Publishing Perspectives, as “the big one”.

“It’s wonderful to be recognised,” said Dusanka Stojakovic, Publisher. “New Africa was started 50 years ago by Marie and David Philips, who were trailblazers in local publishing. New Africa has continued to swim against the tide, publishing mother-tongue books with a focus on making beautiful, relevant and homegrown children’s books since the early 1980’s. We are now in the first year of the UN’s Decade of Indigenous Languages, and the BOP award really highlights our work in this area.”

The BOP Awards celebrate publishers who have distinguished themselves in the regions of Africa, Central and South America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The prize is designed to foster a mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas among different countries, areas and cultural identities across the world. A special feature of the award is that nominated publishers are chosen by their peers: publishers, publishers’ associations and institutions that promote reading.

The announcement was made with the following description:

“For Africa, the winner is New Africa Books, from South Africa, consisting of two publishing brands. New Africa Books publishes a catalogue of titles covering all the South African languages and is particularly focused on the cultural development of children and young people. New Africa Books is a small publishing house that operates with a philosophy at odds with the model that pervades much of the South African industry: its aim is to find gaps in the book market and fill them with beautiful and meaningful works.

“We focus on creating books that matter – for all South Africans,” said Stojakovic. “We’re making new grooves in the record; we’re singing a different song. Interest in indigenous-language books is increasing, and we hope that mainstream booksellers will recognise the demand for these new voices.”

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