Slice of life: Reading, the balm to pain

By the time we got to the town of Laingsburg in the Western Cape, I couldn’t bend my knee and had to go to hospital because it was so swollen. The doctor told me that I should stop cycling because I had suffered an overuse injury. But I couldn’t do that because this initiative is bigger than me.

You see, I grew up in a village called KwaHlathi in KwaZulu-Natal where there were no libraries or people to help me to learn to read. Cycle4Change is a campaign aimed at promoting literacy and we cycle to different towns and rural areas, talking to young people and helping to set up libraries with the donated books we collect.

This year, I got a new bike the day before we started our journey. I was so excited that I didn’t set the bike up properly; I just wanted to hit the road. I started to feel a slight pain in my right hip just two days after we left Pretoria, which worried me because I still had more than 1  00km to cycle before completing the trip.

When I was a child, I wanted to know how to read so much, but I didn’t know how to. My grandmother worked as a helper and she used to come back with books, but I could only look at the pictures and had to make up my own stories. This frustrated me so much, which is why this cycling drive is so important to me, because I get to inspire young people from backgrounds like mine. I know we won’t reach everyone, but the one village we reach, the one community, is better than nothing.

I had to finish. — Sibusiso Buthelezi, 40, as told to Mashadi Kekana

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

The rule of law in times of crisis: Covid-19 and...

Under a state of national disaster, some rights may be suspended. But it is critical to remember that the Constitution itself is not suspended

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories