Towards the end of last term the Camps Bay High School’s Matric Xhosa Class visited Lumkile’s Book Joint in Gugulethu which was started by Lumkile Mzukwa who converted his garage into an informal library and community space.
The Grade 12s were so inspired by visiting Lumkile’s Book Joint that the Grade 11s and 10s begged for the opportunity to hear him speak. Camps Bay High School’s Head of isiXhosa, Mrs Pamela Siwendu, arranged for him to join us in our library today.
Ayabulela Gongo in Grade 12 wrote this report of his experience at Lumkile’s Book Joint.
LUMKILE’S BOOK JOINT-Report by Ayabulela Gongo
At the end of 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