Garage turns to library

2020-03-12 06:04
Founder of Lumkile’s Book Joint, Lumkile Mzukwa carrying his books. The one that he bought in 1991 (Black Resistence to Apartheid) and the latest book (A man of the People by Chinua Achebe). PHOTO: unathi obose

Founder of Lumkile’s Book Joint, Lumkile Mzukwa carrying his books. The one that he bought in 1991 (Black Resistence to Apartheid) and the latest book (A man of the People by Chinua Achebe). PHOTO: unathi obose

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“While my peers were going out and having fun, I would stay indoors and be busy with my drawings,” says Lumkile Mzukwa from Gugulethu who converted his garage into a book joint.

The bookworm and founder of Lumkile’s Book Joint is currently preparing to officially open his venture.

He plans to officially open the initiative on Monday 27 April “to free the minds of black children” by reading his book collection.

He said his objective is to empower and encourage community members to read.

Mzukwa said he has filled the joint with his own books. “I bought my first book in 1991 (Black Resistance to Apartheid) and since then I kept on buying them. I love reading and most of my time I spend on reading books,” he said. He said he intends to eradicate the notion that black communities do not like reading.

Mzukwa described himself as shy and a quiet person. “From a young age some of the things that were fascinating to my peers didn’t attract me. When my friends were playing soccer or discussing it I would keep quiet. I always see things differently,” he said, adding that his friends and family members used to tease him by saying he is stubborn.

He said from an early age he was praying for wisdom. “I used to buy and read the Reader’s Digest magazine. At that time I didn’t know English properly. I used to pick up some quotes from the magazines and paste them on the wall in my room,” he said.

Mzukwa said his collection of books ranges from economics, history, philosophy, African literature, Greek and Roman literature, classic novels and South African history.

When City Vision asked him how does he get time to read all the books Mzukwa responded by saying he is able to manage his time well. “I don’t watch television and don’t listen to the radio. When my family is watching television I’m busy reading. I watch it only if there is someone visiting me at my house and we are sitting in the dining room,” he said, adding that most of the news he gets from his phone.

Mzukwa said he wants his book joint to be utilised as a community space to promote ideas. “I want to set a beautiful picture to children in the black neighbourhood that books are things to be loved and also to be a centre to discover knowledge,” he stated. He said people must not shy away from the bookshop. “About 80% of my books I bought in the secondhand bookshops. My latest book I bought was last month (A man of the People by Chinua Achebe),” he said.

However, he stated that he will need a plan to manage his book joint. “I have to look for other avenues on how to control it. My concern is some people will steal them and I won’t be able to replace them,” he stated.

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