‘Joint’ for book-lovers launched

Nondumiso Pikashe, Lumkile Mzukwa and ward councillor Mimi Manata with pupils from various schools at a low-key launch of Youth Month activities in Gugulethu on Friday

Ward 41 councillor Sharon Mimi Manata has thrown her weight behind the much talked about garage library started by book lover Lumkile Mzukwa in his Gugulethu home.

Mzukwa said he wanted to cultivate a culture of reading in Gugulethu by establishing the Book Joint and has converted part of his home into a reading space.

Speaking to a group of high school pupils who visited the Book Joint last Friday, Ms Manata said their visit was a fitting tribute to the youth of 1976 who died fighting for a quality education.

“I am excited to see young children as you are embracing a place like this,” she said.

“I will be donating two laptops to this Book Joint to ensure that this dream does not die,” she said.

Ms Manata said Gugulethu had a very small library accomodating a lot of people and the opening of the Lumkile Mzukwa Book Joint will ease that burden.

“If you want a piece of mind whilst enjoying good books you can come and use this place more often,” she urged the learners.

Mr Mzukwa’s large collection of books was started with a single copy of a book titled Black Resistance To Apartheid by Mokgethi Mothlabi in 1992.

“The book opened my eyes and I started reading more conscience-arousing books. I started collecting books like nobody’s business,” Mr Mzukwa said.

In an effort to establish and nurture a culture of reading in the community Mr Mzukwa has made his collection available to anyone interested.

“People can come and read books, have discussions here,” he enthused.

“I’ve loved reading, and loved books for as long as I can remember.

“I’ve collected so many books over the years, for over 28 years in fact,” said Mr Mzukwa.

“All the books I’ve collected and more are showcased at the Book Joint. People will be able to come and sit at the café and read at their own pace. From children to adults, we cater for all.

“For a small fee I’m hoping to have people as enthusiastic about books as me come and share and take in the knowledge books have to offer.”

The Book Joint was set to launch on April 27, Freedom Day, but due to the lockdown regulations and safety precautions, it has been postponed and a new date will be announced shortly after the lockdown is lifted.

An incredible array of books by different authors, including local authors, will be showcased at the Book Joint to promote both reading and writing, covering a range of topics such as economics, English and French literature.

Mr Mzukwa added that he hoped to approach popular and well-established publishing companies and other notable bodies and organisations, and have them come on board to help grow the Book Joint.

Palesa Pitso from Fezeka High School said she was excited to have visited the joint and will share her experience with other learners.

“I saw a lot of good books here and they give a lot of information on many aspects of life,” she said.

Chris Nkosi from Kasselvlei High said the Book Joint would help a lot of children gain a better grasp on history and understanding of the current situation.

“We are very happy to have this place in Gugulethu,” he added.