Biking for books: Celebs saddle up to raise funds for libraries

2013-04-27 00:00

THE importance of reading and providing children in underprivileged areas with access to books is motivating some of the celebrities taking part in the 2013 edition of the Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race from Johannesburg to Scottburgh.

Among those who have donned lycra and adopted a positive attitude for the “More Than Yourself” campaign are 5FM’s DJ Milkshake, South African rally champion Gugu Zulu and actress and model Boity.

With Kevin Grenfell, one of SA’s most acclaimed DJs, and Letshego Moshoeu, a biokineticist and adventure enthusiast, they set off on their 900 km journey yesterday.

For this year’s event, which finishes on May 4, the campaign has joined forces with Participate for Good – a 46664 Nelson Mandela Day initiative to raise funds for mobile ­libraries in disadvantaged areas along the race route.

One library was delivered to Oppermans Kraal Primary School near Bergville on April 10 and a second is due to be handed over on May 2.

Each library is built from a revamped shipping container, which is then stocked with more than 1 000 books. The libraries vary in price according to location and transport costs and an average unit costs around R195 000.

Boity, who presents Skyroom Live on SABC1, told Weekend Witne ss: “I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m up for the challenge.”

As for the cause she says: “When I was growing up I didn’t read a lot … When I started to read I realised how much it helps to broaden your horizons and your imagination. If I can give someone that chance, why not?”

DJ Milkshake, who recently released his single Living on the Edge with AKA and beat boxer George Avakian, agreed, saying that the campaign offered him a great way to give back.

“Libraries are amazing … I was never into books as a child, but I really enjoy reading now. I think it’s amazing that we can give kids the chance to empower themselves.”

To coincide with the race finish on May 4, there will be an all-day concert in Scottburgh from 10 am featuring Sama award-winning artists Danny K and Kabelo, supported by Stellenbosch–based acoustic musician and Sama nominee Gerald Clark.

• To make a donation, visit to pledge.

• To follow the race, go to


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