On Friday 13 May, the Mandela Long Walk to Freedom team, actress Hlubi Mboya and a team from Mutual & Federal left a chilly Johannesburg to drive to Petsana township in Reitz, where they launched the 10th joBerg2C library at Phinduzame Intermediate School.
The team arrived to excitement, drum majorettes and dancing learners, and the weather was warm and kind enough to allow the proceedings to flow without a hitch.
The school’s proud principle of 38 years, Mr Joseph Hlatshwayo, outdid himself with his great team. The kids made us proud to be South Africans as they sang, danced and recited poetry to an auspicious audience consisting of our global Mandela charity champion Hlubi Mboya; Mutual & Federal VIPs Busisiwe Sithole, Peter Modisane, Tshepo Mashego, Phumzile Mnisi and Ayanda Tito; Mandela Long Walk to Freedom library director Jackie Coutts; and manager of Soul City Free State Hannah Geyser.
For a number of years, Phinduzame Intermediate School has had a 100% pass rate from Grades R to 9, and stands as a shining example of how dedicated staff make a difference in schoolchildren’s lives in rural South Africa.
At the launch, the children pledged to use the library well, and to learn as much as they could from the books, which were supplied by Rotary International and Qualibooks. They made the library their own by placing their handprints on the outside walls.
Additional donations to the library included Mandela superhero comics from Norway, titled Urban Legend, and magazines and books donated by Joe’s Magz.
Ten soccer balls and 10 South African flags were also handed over to the principal, while the team from Mutual & Federal handed out 1 200 goodie bags to the delighted children, containing books, pencils, sweets and cold drinks.
At 3pm, the tired and happy library team waved the school and the amazing kids of Petsana farewell. Knowing we have influenced another important part of our country’s future and made a difference is a privilege only experienced by being involved.
Let’s make every day a Mandela Day.