Last week Ginny, Lets Look Publishers and I had great fun. We had a stand at the Africa Health Expo at the Gallagher Convention Centre for three whole days. It was an exhibition with loads of fancy medical equipment and interesting products, with people from all over the world exhibiting.
The delegates and visitors (and there were more than 10,000 medical professionals that attended this expo) wandered around, soaking up all the fancy, high-tech displays of technologies, products or services, on their way through the huge halls to the conference venue.
There were many interesting talks and lectures by top professionals from South Africa and the rest of the world during the three days. This is because medical professionals have to continually renew, refresh and update their knowledge when it comes to healthcare.
Hundreds of people passed by our bright, simple, not-at-all-what-they-were-expecting-to-see-at-a-health-expo stand.
They’d stop and read the Sibo banner first. You could just imagine what they were thinking… What the @#$! is this all about?
Then their eyes would wander around the stall and alight on the interesting Sibo book covers or the snazzy wall charts. They’d be intrigued.
Lets Look Publishers have a huge variety of wallcharts on just about any topic that you can imagine, but obviously, we displayed all the health-related charts at the expo – trauma, TB, stress, anxiety, pregnancy, the brain, rape, the human body etc etc etc. You can check out the complete catalogue here.
Then somebody would pounce on the person or group and explain. On occasion, we ran out of people to explain yet the delegates would just hang around, patiently waiting their turn.
But sometimes people would just skid to a halt, shake their heads and exclaim “Tell us about Sibo!”
Turns out the medical community is just as interested in our books as the educational sector. Some nurses moaned because we don’t have titles on general safety, avoiding burns, washing hands, special needs and type 1 diabetes… YET!
The University of Pretoria Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control also had a stand at the expo, which was fabulous, because we worked with them a few years ago and wrote this book together. It’s being used in Limpopo to help bring about life-style change as far as avoiding malaria goes. We could just tell people to go and see for themselves how well Sibo works!
Ginny made fabulous contacts at the expo and we’re hoping that some of them translate into new Sibo titles on health-related topics. As we’ve explained in a previous blog, we like to find funding for interesting new subjects so that the books can be given out freely to kids.
Many children in South Africa do not own a single book.
That’s so sad. Worse, according to a recent survey, over 70% of our children cannot read for meaning in Grade Four. That’s just tragic. We all have to help fix this situation in any way we can.
Sibo’s books appeal to kids. They have bright, interesting illustrations that speak to the text. The stories are written in rhyme with important information gently woven into the storylines.
One of the subjects that also came up was entrepreneurship, something that has been dear to Ginny’s heart for ages. Little people need to learn from a young age that if they want something, they should come up with clever ideas to help turn their dreams into reality. These days there is a culture of expectation. Hold thumbs that we can find a sponsor for this title too.
Thanks very much to Informa for facilitating our stand at the Africa Health Expo.
Stay tuned folks, we’ll be reporting back on all the interesting projects and books that transpire.