The Camps Bay High School senior classes got the chance to meet Lumkile Mzukwa from Lumkile’s Book Joint in Gugulethu, and it has inspired many of the students.
Cape Town, South Africa (20 May 2021) – The Camps Bay High School’s Matric Xhosa Class visited Lumkile’s Book Joint in Gugulethu at the end of the last term. Lumkile Mzukwa converted his garage into an informal library and community space.
The space is inspiring, and aside from the educational value; the space has a calming tranquillity that inspires so much more than just a love for reading. Many have called the space a healing one. Lumkile’s book collection is one filled with the tragic history of South Africa as well as the empowerment of men and women that fought for democracy in South Africa.
His shelves show the journey of a country riddled by injustice and healed by unity. It keeps a record of black history in South Africa and promotes up-coming black authors and thought-provokers. The library is an asset beyond Gugulethu and anyone with an opportunity to visit, should do so as soon as possible.
The school’s Grade 10 and 11 classes had heard about the matric outing and asked if they too could get the opportunity to meet Lumkile. Fortunately, Lumkile was able to visit the school and share his inspiring story. Camps Bay High School’s Head of isiXhosa, Mrs Pamela Siwendu, arranged for him to visit their library and discuss his journey.
Ayabulela Gongo was one of the lucky students to visit Lumkile’s Book Joint last term. He wrote a report about his experience, calling it thought-provoking and motivating.
LUMKILE’S BOOK JOINT
Report by Ayabulela Gongo
At the end of the last term, the Grade 12 isXhosa Class visited Lumkile’s Book Joint in Gugulethu. We were warmly welcomed by Mr Lumkile Mzukwa and his team. Mr Mzukwa, who was born and bred in Gugulethu (which means “Our Pride”), has turned his garage into a library.
Mr Mzukwa grew up in the apartheid era, and his mother was a domestic worker. He lost his father at the age of 12 and started collecting books when he was 14-years-old. The first book he bought was “Black Resistance to Apartheid” at Cafda bookshop in Claremont, way back in 1991.
Today, he has more than 2000 books in his book joint. He explained that he finds that books aid emotional and mental growth, sharpen our memory and make you conscious.
Mr Mzukwa urged us to “take ourselves seriously and stop being foolish”. He made us realise that the future needs us, and we need to step up. He encouraged us to understand the value in our own language and that we should give ourselves time to read isiXhosa books and familiarise ourselves with the Xhosa heritage. He told us that we ought to express ourselves in what we have and what we have learned.
Mr Lumkile says his intention behind creating the book joint is to share his personal books that he has collected over the past 28 years. It is a space for the community to reflect on various issues and promote a developmental discourse in the community and a positive outlook about the future. He wants a space to promote a culture of reading and affirm a reading community, especially amongst the youth.
We all really enjoyed the trip and found it very interesting and beneficial to us. His speech made me think about a lot of things and motivated me to take myself seriously and speak up.
Sources: Camps Bay High School – Supplied
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