School honours award-winning Mitchells Plain poet Athol Williams

West End Primary in Mitchells Plain has renamed its library after Athol Williams.

West End Primary in Mitchells Plain has renamed its library after Athol Williams.

Published Jan 31, 2023


Cape Town - Mitchells Plain’s West End Primary has honoured acclaimed poet and award-winning whistle-blower Athol Williams by renaming its library after him.

Williams has a special connection to Mitchells Plain, having grown up there since the age of 9 and completing both primary and high school there during a tumultuous time in the 1980s.

West End Primary School was last year one of 10 schools in the world to make the top 10 finals in the World’s Best School Prizes in the category of “Overcoming Adversity”.

The Cape Flats Book Festival, founded by Williams, is hosted at the school, and the youth literacy NGO he founded, Read to Rise, works at the school in addition to all other 47 primary schools in Mitchells Plain.

“One of West End Primary School’s strategic objectives is to recognise and celebrate the role that the community is playing in providing learning opportunities to our future leaders.

The school therefore wants to recognise Mr Athol Williams, who was a resident of Mitchells Plain, in the renowned work that he has researched, published and bringing about transformational changes to not only Mitchells Plain, but South Africa and indeed over the world.

It is important to teach the youngsters of Mitchells Plain that the world is their oyster and Mitchells Plain can be just as a good place to start,” the school said.

Williams’s work there has also inspired three learners who are now published authors.

“Having my name attached to this library is of great significance to me because it’s a library and I love libraries and I love books. Not only have I written many books, I also have a library of my own which contains almost 10 000 books.

But my name is now not only attached to any library, but a school library and a school library in Mitchells Plain,” Williams said.

“If that isn’t enough, it is at West End Primary School, the school ranked in the top 10 of the best schools in the world in 2022.

This school represents what I stand for – the pursuit of excellence and acting with possibility. So I am proud to have my name associated with the school and I will continue supporting the school to help your pursuit of excellence and possibility.”

Cape Times