Burning down libraries deprives people of reading

As I walked in and around the ruins of Khutsong I visualised television footage of adults celebrating the destruction of libraries.

As I walked in and around the ruins of Khutsong I visualised television footage of adults celebrating the destruction of libraries.

Many books and historical material about our painful, but unique history were kept at the Khutsong main library.

Books by Wally Serote, Eskia Mphahlele, Ngugi wa Thiong, Wole Soyinka, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Ali Mazrui, Chinua Achebe and so many others were there too. Books that I struggled to get in libraries in Tanzania and Zambia were readily available in Khutsong's libraries.

Historic videos such as the Rise and Fall of Idi Amin,The Children of Soweto and What happened to Mbuyisawere also destroyed.

In fact it was after viewing videos from this library that Kitso, my little girl, forced me to take her to the Apartheid Museum and the Hector Pietersen Memorial.

Going to the libraries inspired me so much that I even started reading Afrikaans novels.

The sad thing is that some people regard those who championed the destruction as heroes. Have we become so mediocre that we destroy books and disrupt learning because of publicity? Is publicity so important that we are happy to deprive our children of their love of books?

Some teachers were key instigators. But then, most children of township teachers go to quality schools where there are no disruptions.

Seabo Gaeganelwe, Merafong

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