'Pavement bookworm' finally gets a break

Philani Dladla is dubbed the Pavement Bookworm after seen reviewing books on Empire Road. Picture: Sowetan LIVE
Philani Dladla is dubbed the Pavement Bookworm after seen reviewing books on Empire Road. Picture: Sowetan LIVE

Philani Dladla is not just another person on the corner of the streets asking for money. This young bookworm has found an interesting way to get through the hardships of being homeless.

Hailing from Port Shepstone in KZN, Philani Dladla has found some solace in the heart of Johannesburg by sharing the stories he reads with drivers during peak-hour traffic.

Drug-addiction has been the main cause of Dladla's woes that led to him losing his job, apartment and most of the life he had before this.

Dubbed the 'pavement bookworm' by many, Dladla says his love for literature was first ignited when he received a book for his twelfth birthday.

Dladla reads the books he collects then reviews them for passers-by; if they like the book they buy it.

"The more I read, the more I wanted to be a better person in my life. I decided to share stories with other people. I didn't just want to beg. I wanted to give something back to the person that shared their money with me. I wanted to give people value for their money," he says.

Dladla receives books through donations and also buys some with his own money.

Apart from the little money Dladla makes by selling books,  he also shares his stories with the children on the streets.

He has formed a book club with these children who love to read and share with others what they have read.

This pavement bookworm now has a PR company representing him and is currently working on his own book.

"My book is going to be out there. It will launch on 27 February 2015, on my birthday. Through this book, you will understand my life journey."

Also read: Pavement bookworm to give TEDx talk

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