On Friday, Puku launched the new-look Puku.co.za website at the South African Book Fair.

Revamped to coincide with International Literacy Day 2017,  and in line with the theme “Literacy in a Digital World”, Friday the 8th of September, 2017 held a great deal of meaning for Puku’s Founder and Chairperson, Elinor Sisulu.

The Puku.co.za website went live in 2009, run by a small team with big dreams, to bridge the digital divide.  I feel quite nostalgic when I remember the passion and devotion of the founding team – Ben Williams, Colleen Higgs, Nonikiwe Ndebele and a thin, little UCT intern called Bontle Senne.

Following the progress of the website, Sisulu continues,

Bontle later became the MD of Puku and with the assistance of Thoughtworks, took the website to it’s next level.”

In life, as in digital, the only constant is change. After years of running a custom-built site in C#, the PUKU Board decided to refresh the site with newer and more accessible tools.

Taking direction from Board Member, Melvin Kaabwe, site-evaluations were done and input received from the Puku diaspora world-wide. After an exhaustive comparison of potential web development partners, the decision was made to enlist Country Digital. As a team that is well known in the SA Book scene as well as having developed sites in multi-language formats, it seemed a natural fit to work with Puku for a refreshed website.

Thanks to Jessica Faircliff and the Country Digital team, we now have a revamped website,” concluded Elinor.

Elinor Sisulu was speaking at the Puku exhibition stand of the widely anticipated SA Book Fair 2017. The SA Book Fair was the culmination of the National Book Week held by the SA Book Development Council, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture. More on the SA Book Fair here

The new Puku website is not only a source of news regarding mother-tongue literacy events. It will host

  • a platform for authors to submit and review literature for children in African languages
  • an opportunity for individuals and organisations to donate funds for Puku to continue it’s work
  • publishers in children’s literature who wish to showcase their authors and illustrators
  • an e-commerce portal for parents, teachers and organisations who wish to purchase children’s literature that has been reviewed by Puku language expert panels
  • increased branding screen real-estate for sponsors
  • mobile friendly content sections for mother-tongue language readers in rural areas with limited connectivity

Puku is excited to invite South Africa to join us online as we celebrate African children’s books.