Thohoyandou – Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is hopeful that young people in the Maniini village, near Thohoyandou will embrace reading at a new state-of-the-art mobile library.
Earlier on Friday morning, Minister Muthambi in partnership with the SABC Foundation officially handed over a mobile library at Haggai Combined Independent School.
“An informed nation…a reading nation is able to develop its own communities. Remember the progressive youth of 1976, they were not protesting for drugs or liquor, but they were demanding quality education that will enable them to move our country forward.
“Now with this modern library we’ve handed over to the school today, we strongly believe that it will make young people at the village and the surrounding areas embrace reading.
“From today going forward, we are no longer expecting our youth to linger in the streets…we expect them to spend much of their time at this mobile library,” she said.
Minister Muthambi described Maniini as fortunate because it is the first rural community in the area to get a mobile library. There is a need for a library not only in Maniini, but also in the neighbouring areas of Malamulele and Vuwani.
She urged residents to keep a close on the mobile library top ensure it is not vandalised.
“As a community, you must take care of this library…don’t allow anyone to vandalise or burn this mobile library,” she said, adding that reading should become a way of life for young people of Maniini.
Minister Muthambi hailed the public broadcaster for fulfilling its mandate of educating the nation.
“The public broadcaster is mandated to educate the nation and, through their education foundation initiative, they are exactly doing that,” she said, adding that the SABC will continue to touch many lives if everyone paid their tv licences.
SABC Board Chairperson, Professor Obert Maguvhe, who is from Maniini, said he wanted to see the local children grow into future leaders who are computer literate from an early age.
“Therefore, we are going to install three computer desktops at this mobile library which will also be fully furnished.”
He urged the youth to use education to empower themselves.
“Remember, young people who took part in the struggle 40 years ago…they wanted equal education… they wanted to deal with oppression head-on and it is painful that some of them passed on, while some are disabled… the 1976 generation fought for equal education.
“They wanted to emancipate themselves from slavery. As young South Africans, we want you to grow up knowing very well that true freedom is when your mind is liberated and you can only liberate your mind by reading.
“Gone are those days when people use to tell us that if you want to deprive Africans of knowledge, hide it in the books… so we are saying to you…read the books in this mobile library.”
SABC Foundation CEO, Iris Cupido said: “Our message is very clear that education is the greatest weapon that can be used to change the world. To our youth we are saying please don’t pick stones…don’t pick up guns, but pick up books and read because readers are leaders.”