Opening of the second Mandela library in Randburg 19 July 2011
The opening of the second Mandela Day library took place yesterday at the Little Legends centre in Randburg, Gauteng. This library was fully funded by LegalWise who run a sports club at the centre, but there were many other role-players involved. About 200 children are catered for at the centre which operates three times a week.
Upon arrival there was a lot of activity around the centre with children in red T-shirts welcoming guests and handing out programmes, and others bringing in books which had been sourced from the Rotary warehouse in Bedfordview. The Vodacom team arrived soon afterwards and began to erect the playground which is placed in front of the library, and the team from the Thebe Foundation led by Mokgethi Tshabalala came to read books to the children.
The ceremony was opened by the children’s choir singing the national anthem and then the customary “Happy Birthday to you” to Madiba. This was followed by a brief address from Frank Meintjies and Irene of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Jan Luwes the CEO of LegalWise, Director of Breadline, Andries Steenkamp the Managing Executive of Vodacom in Gauteng, and Rafique Hassim of Little Legends, and a representative of Cell C which will be responsible for the Internet access for the library. One of the children, Sibusiso Mbatha then spoke on behalf of all the children present, and then Lesley Haynes of LegalWise closed with a thank you to all the many sponsors who had contributed towards the day and to their programme in general.
This was followed by the leaving of hand-prints on the library which was painted bright red with a rainbow across it, symbolising Madiba’s hand of reconciliation and call to action. Many people then helped with the unpacking and sorting of the books into the new library, and there was face-painting, hair spraying and music and dancing for the children.