Started in 2019, the Non-Profitable Organisation, Literacy4Life founded by the Late Advocate Marukgwane Moremogolo with a mission to empower communities by uplifting them to create initiatives through partnerships with individuals and corporates that share the same vision of promoting literacy in undeveloped communities. Vena Chueu, chairperson of Literacy4life said that the late Moremogolo grew up in a township outside Pretoria where he spent school holidays tagging along with his aunt to the palatial house where she worked as a domestic for a wealthy white family.
“They had an enormous library, and shared books with him and this is where his love for books began,” Chueu explained. “He read books such as Oliver Twist, Biographies of Napoleon and Elvis Presley. His teachers saw his interest in reading books an encouraged him by making sure that he always had something to read.”
Moremogolo got his inspiration from reading African literature particularly the ones written in Vernacular languages, and took it upon himself when he started by running marathons while reading books with the aim to promote the idea that reading is ‘cool’. “He knew that it was a crazy idea and that it would force people to have conversation about South Africa’s relationship with books,” She said.
Chueu said that since the Literacy4Life inception, it has received more than 6000 book donations from friends and corporate partners all over South Africa. Their first book donation campaign was launched at Sefako Makgatho Primary School with donations of more than 2000 books to unprivileged learners, and the second campaign called ‘#Kilometers4Books’ was inspired by the Comrades Marathon where Moremogolo ran for 40km reading a Setswana book.
“To date 3000 books were donated to an NGO, two pre-schools and two primary schools in Semi-urban areas around Gauteng,” she explained. Literacy4Life has hosted a series of fundraising events which led to the union between their patron and Brian Baloyi, former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper who happens to share the same vision and passion about uplifting communities.
“Driven by common goals, including the desire to promote literacy in poor regions, Brian was able to use his networks such as Hollywood Bets where is currently an ambassador to realise his vision. He has made a pledge to partner with us to fulfil our objective by donating containers that will be converted into school libraries,” She said.
“September 2019, we donated 1000 books to Bula Tsela Primary School in Vaal South of Gauteng Sebokeng, and in November 2019 as part of Patrons birthday month, eighty age appropriate books were donated to Thusa Bana Day Care in Soshanguve.”
Most importantly, Literacy4Life wishes to lobby the support from the whole of Pretoria and South Africa by receiving support for their different campaigns including Library book donation drive on Mandela day 18 July, charity golf day 17 September and fundraising dinner and AGM 12 November. “Nelson Mandela Day we are donating a library to Mosetlha Primary School near Hammanskraal. We request for the support of individuals and corporates in renovating the school Library and also support in the form of leisure books relevant for primary school level Grade R to Grade 7,” Chueu concluded.
By: Mpho Khena.