Buthelezi promotes the love of reading

Nongcebo Buthelezi has been an avid reader from a young age. Picture: SUPPLIED

Nongcebo Buthelezi has been an avid reader from a young age. Picture: SUPPLIED

Published Nov 12, 2023


Durban — Bothered about the number of people living without proper education, Nongcebo Buthelezi from Hillcrest decided to champion their cause by making reading and learning more accessible to those in need.

Buthelezi, 31, aligned herself with the World Literacy Foundation (WLF) to preach the message of “knowledge is power”, and earned ambassador status with the organisation for 2023.

Given her efforts to improve literacy in communities across the country, the WLF named her as their “ambassador of the month” in October.

Buthelezi’s initiative to fund-raise for the WLF’s programmes, and driving the collaborative effort with 17 other youth from across the world to create children’s stories in audio-video format, at no cost, to promote the love of reading, won her the recognition.

The reading initiative, which was named “Book Bytes”, is a website that Buthelezi created, and she wrote the stories that appeared, while others were involved in producing videos.

The cover of Nongcebo Buthelezi’s book that is due for release in December 2023.

“Literacy is something I’ve always been passionate about, especially since I understand what my parents told me over the years and I’ve seen how education changes circumstances.”

Buthelezi said she was moved by the number of people, her age or younger, who didn’t have the opportunities to be educated.

“That bothers me because I grew up a bookworm. When other children played cricket and did other things, you would always find me with a book.”

She is also passionate about web development and those skills proved useful in configuring “Book Bytes”.

Buthelezi said she hoped to produce printed books in the future. Her debut anthology, Women of the Rainbow Nation: A Kaleidoscope of Narratives, is due to be released next month.

“It’s a collection of seven stories depicting the lives of seven contemporary South Africans in their everyday lives.”

Buthelezi said she had her heart set on becoming a WLF volunteer.

“The ambassador programme was a godsend as it gave me the opportunity to learn the tools of advocacy, and how to raise funds. It was precisely what I was looking for because I want to instil a passion for reading in people.”

Nongcebo Buthelezi is making her presence felt as an ambassador for literacy for all South Africans. Picture: SUPPLIED

Independent on Saturday