In South Africa, the month of March is known as the Human Rights month. This is so, because of the past atrocities that littered the country during the years of 1960 and 1985 in Sharpville and Langa, respectively. Furthermore, this period was characterised by a government which denied the majority of its population access to information and where access was given it was veiled with inconsistencies and littered with untruths.
The South African Library Week celebrations, organised by the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture with a dual objective of promoting life-long learning and a culture of reading, this year was aimed at commemorating the right of access to information in a bid to correct the wrongs of the country’s painful past.
Under the theme of ‘Libraries – telling powerful stories #powerfullibrarystories #be visible’, the celebrations held at both CookHouse and Mdantsane Libraries on the 20th March 2023 focused on telling the country’s good stories which came as well as involved patrons to highlight the benefits of libraries to their communities.
Cookhouse and Mdantsane Libraries became hives of activity on the eve of Human Rights Day. Activities of the day varied from spelling bee, creative writing, poetry recitings, educational board games and storytelling.
More than110 learners from Manyano, Sakhile, Siyanda, Arising, St’ Johns and Fanti Gaqa Higher Primary Schools assembled at NU 14 at the Mdantsane Library, as a build-up to the Provincial Human Rights Day commemoration and were educated on the life and glorious boxing career of Nkosana “HappyBoy” Mgxaji, a Mdantsane-born prolific boxer who was celebrated at the Human Rights Day at Sisa Dukashe Stadium. Mgxaji was brought to life to learners, with relayed stories of his triumph in a career that spanned 88 fights with only 9 losses, when “HappyBoy” was only 30 years old, he had fought 73 times with only 1 loss, he’s defining fight was in 1979, which was attended by a record crowd of 6 000 boxing followers and fans.