Students who love to read inspire opening of Mandela Day library at North West school
Friday 30 November marked the opening of the 21st Mandela Day Container Library at Kebinelang Middle School in Manthe village (near Hartswater), in the North West province, five hours west of Johannesburg.
The long drive didn’t deter representatives from container library sponsors BLA, Standard Bank and Puo Publishing, who together with community members and learners gathered in the marquee and eagerly anticipated the opening ceremony.
It was clear for all to see that the container library had been awarded to a deserving school. The school’s Soul Buddyz reading club, wearing their bibs and outfits, assembled outside the library proudly, undeterred by vicious whirlwinds that swirled within the school grounds. Learners then welcomed guests with a passionate performance of song and dance.
The dynamic programme co-ordinator, Mr Mpshe, welcomed and introduced the guests. He cited his shock at discovering that, in some areas, Grade 6, 7 and even Grade 8 learners are unable to read and write. He commended the Soul Buddyz facilitator, Mrs Teheben, for having spent countless late nights at the school working with her reading clubs learners.
“Her perseverance, determination and hard work in obtaining a library has paid off today,” he said.
Mrs Teheben then gave a quick history of how the school has strived to make a difference every year. She spoke about how she began her work with just one reading club, which has grown to four reading clubs in the past four years.
She spoke about the challenges of facilitating reading clubs without a library, yet this had not deterred her. She spoke proudly about how her prayers had been answered, as the school now hosts a container library learners can call their own.
Puleng Phooko, of Breadline Africa, thanked the partners that had made the dream of a container library at Kebinelang Middle School possible. She mentioned that although circumstances did not allow representatives from the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, LegalWise, Help2Read and Soul City to attend all opening events, they sent their best wishes. She thanked Standard Bank for sponsoring the library.