mmago jafta
Mmago Jafta, the Sepedi iteration of Jafta's Mother by Hugh Lewin is now available at Game stores.
  • Game now sells a range of children’s books written in African languages as well as educational books in English and Afrikaans.
  • The move expands its school product offering for customers.
  • The range includes Setswana and Sepedi versions of Jafta’s Mother by Hugh Lewin which is illustrated by Lisa Kopper.
  • It also stocks the The Answer Series in English and Afrikaans for various grades across a number of subjects.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Massmart-owned Game has become the latest general retailer to sell children's books written in African languages, including Sepedi, Setswana, and IsiZulu, and has also introduced educational books in English and Afrikaans.

The books are priced from R29.22 to R225 and are available across Game's 119 stores.

Katherine Madley, Game's spokesperson and vice-president for marketing, said the move was significant because, although South Africa’s population demographic comprises more than 70% black Africans, there's still a scarcity of reading material published in African languages.

"South Africa is diverse, as we have 11 official languages, but the majority of reading material is published in English," Madley said.

"We realise the significance of children reading in their vernacular language and how that has a positive impact in learning and comprehension for a child's development," she said.

The range of books written in African languages is made up of titles such as the Jafta series by Hugh Lewin. Namely, they are Jafta, Jafta’s Mother (Mmago Jafta in Sepedi) and Jafta's Father.

Other titles include Dimakatso tsa ga Handa (Handa's Surprise), Inkanyezi Yomkhathi (Astro Girl), and Nginsundu Nginezinwele Ezisongene (I Have Brown Skin and Curly Hair).

"We see vernacular languages as growth because of the heritage linked to knowing one's vernacular language, and we would like to be a part of giving access to children in their vernacular language so that our 11 languages are not seen as a niche industry but as a necessity to provide local content to all South Africans," said Madley.

Part of the range of books available at Game also includes The Answer Series across a number of subjects for various grades, and these are available in English and Afrikaans.

Game is the latest retailer to expand its offering to include books written in African languages. CNA, which Edcon sold off to Astoria investments, traditionally a stationery books retailer, has also been bolstering its offering. Bookselling chain, Exclusive Books has also been adding more children's books in African languages over time.

Here's how some of Game's new books compare with Exclusive Books' on price.

Price comparison table.

(Compiled by Ntando Thukwana)

Receive a daily news update on your cellphone. Or get the best of our site emailed to you

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.