Visit to Mpumulwane Library
5th September 2005
Fi, Nonzuzo and I loaded the backee with books for the library at Mpumulwane. It is a good half hour drive up into the hills.
The library, which was built for the Family Literacy Project a year ago, is a small block built rectangular building standing alongside the Sphamandlas crèche. The walls display posters, including one indicating the networks and many benefits of the literacy project. There are already a good many shelves of books around the walls, a table in the centre and a library issue desk. The books donated include fiction, classic and modern, childrens’ stories, picture books and non-fiction, all second hand but mostly in good condition. There are too many books for this library so we arranged that some will go to a new library being set up in another community.
The whole community has benefited from the project started in 1997 which aimed to educate men and women but the men were too shy to come and learn alongside the women. Follow up studies have shown that children of mothers attending the programme are developing better pre-reading and communication skills and school attendance has improved in the area since people have realized the benefits of education.
I had a quick look round at the books for children and was really taken by the illustrations in a children’s book written in Zulu. As Nonzuzo had challenged me to learn Zulu I suggested I borrow the book and she translate some of it for me to help my studies. I was given my own library ticket and learned that I was the ninety third person to become a member: quite impressive for a small community!