It was a stormy Friday afternoon driving down Baden Powel Drive along the beautiful beach front of Muizenberg. I was on my way to celebrate World Book Day with Weltevreden Publi Library. I always find myself excited when asked to attend such events because I know I will always meet inspiring people of all kinds, and the most inspiring kids too!

The event was blessed with the presence of people from Nal’ibali, Yabonga, and members of the community just to mention a few. The library manager opened the event with a prayer and then the senior librarian played the role of MC.

Miss Thabisa from Nal’ibali spoke about World Book Day, engaging well with the young children in the audience, proving Nal’ibali’s connection with the younger crowd of readers they cater for. Two primary school learners from the Weltevreden reading club read stories most beautifully in English and Xhosa.

Then, it was my turn to talk. Two days before attending the event I’d prepared a speech around the importance of reading and what FunDza offers to encourage reading for pleasure. I’d prepared my talk in English – and it was aimed at an older audience. However, the room was filled with primary and high school learners. So, I needed to change tack and possibly my choice of language too.

I did my best – speaking mainly in isiXhosa – and ultimately think that the message was well received as I could see the encouraging nodding of heads in the audience.

After that Miss Nyokana officially opened up the new Weltevreden reading club for teenagers where most of the FunDza books will be used. I had brought some copies of FunDza books to donate to the library. Miss Nyokana was delighted to have the FunDza books – as they had had one copy of a FunDza book in the library but it was so popular with the youth that it was out constantly on loan. “That book, Sugar Daddy, does not even sit on the shelves anymore!”, Miss Nyokana’s exclaimed.

One of the people I had the honour of meeting was a guy that was running a reading club for sixty year olds and above. Apparently the library has been running a couple of reading sessions with this particular group. I found that quite interesting and motivating more especially for one of the FunDza projects, called Popularising Reading.

The moral of the story is that reading and books touches everyone’s lives, whether young, old, rich or poor, connecting us all together through the love of story.