Reading competition inspires senior citizens

Seniors ready for the start of the competition at the Crossroads library.

While we hear that the number of people reading is at an all-time low, senior citizen reading club members are turning the tide by promoting and instilling a culture of reading in their communities through libraries.

Two reading clubs, Masakhane and the Crossroads, took part in a reading competition on Tuesday August 29 at Crossroads library.

The clubs were gathered together by the Crossroads and Philippi East libraries in Crossroads to compete against each other.

Thembeka Ntobongwa, a teacher of the Masakhane club, was more than pleased with the competition.

She said such competitions for seniors are long overdue.

“As much as winning is part of it but to us it is not everything. We want to inspire young people. My seniors were so excited to be able to read one book, finish it, and ask questions. The competition was a motivation to them,” she said.

Her group won a trophy and got certificates of appreciation.

She added that she hoped that the reading competition will inspire young people to follow in their footsteps.

Her words were echoed by Philippi East senior librarian Ayanda Qagana who said the Senior Citizens Reading Programme would help young people to follow their lead and expand their vocabulary.

“We are closing Women’s Month in style by having this most important event in our calendar, the Senior Citizen Reading Competition. It is important because it is the building blocks of reading. These are reading clubs and we want to see good readers. But the most important thing, we are promoting and instilling a reading culture. We felt it was good this month to expose them to reading. We are planting the seeds of seniors to love reading but mostly the young people,” she said.

The seniors sat with glasses and read books all in the name of instilling and promoting reading in the communities. The winners boasted that they want to show young and old that one can achieve anything if one puts their mind to it and if you work hard towards achieving a goal.

Winners Masakhane Reading Club, from Philippi East library, Nophumzile Mrwatyana, Nosisi Govuza, Nomawe Nomatse Thandiwe January and Macikazi Mazamelela all seated.