Readers asked to spread the word

Some of the Denis Hurley Centre Street Lit booksellers: from left, Sbusiso Mnguni, Qhawe Mbatha, Eric Badise and China Shabala. | SHELLEY KJONSTAD Independent Newspapers

Some of the Denis Hurley Centre Street Lit booksellers: from left, Sbusiso Mnguni, Qhawe Mbatha, Eric Badise and China Shabala. | SHELLEY KJONSTAD Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 7, 2024


Durban — The Independent on Saturday (IOS) has a challenge for readers and their friends: donate good second-hand books to help the Street Lit booksellers collect 10 052 – one for every day Madiba spent in prison – over Mandela Month.

Mandela Month includes Mandela Day on July 18 – his birthday.

The IOS is a proud supporter of the much-loved, feel-good programme backed by the Denis Hurley Centre which enables homeless and formerly homeless men and women to earn a modest living, have a renewed life-purpose, and to encourage and enable people to read more books.

“With so many vendors selling books – and new apprentice vendors joining the team – we need to keep them constantly supplied with quality books,” said project facilitator Illa Thompson.

“In honour of Nelson Mandela Month, we want to collect 10 052 books, one for every day he spent in prison. “After all, books must have been one of the things that kept Madiba sane for 27 long years.”

Independent Media staff will join the drive, and the Durban office in Greyville (with easy parking) is one of the drop-off points.

“Street Lit is an empowering initiative which we are happy to support,” said IOS editor Zoubair Ayoob.

“As well as helping the booksellers make a living, it provides donors with an opportunity to give their old, unused books a second life. “And if, in the month of Mandela, we contribute to getting the nation reading, so much the better,” said Ayoob.

Thompson said: “Conservatively, if there are 15 vendors selling at any one time and if they each sell five books a day on average, that means we need to source 75 fresh books a day to keep their stock viable.

“And that is just our regular and permanent venues, excluding pop-ups and events, where the volumes are much higher.

“That means we always need a steady supply of loads of really good books.

“A number of churches across the city have agreed to be drop-off points to make it easier for people to donate. The list is on our Facebook page and website and will be updated regularly. Now is the time to pass on those quality books that you really loved so someone else can enjoy them, too.”

The vendors welcome Bibles, self-helps, bestsellers, popular and award-winning novels; children’s books, dictionaries (English and isiZulu) and books in isiZulu. Quality, current, good condition books only please.

Please mark books clearly for the Denis Hurley Centre – and ideally in bags or boxes, for easy storage and collection.

This is a really labour intensive and logistics-heavy project, so if you are able to help in any way during the month, please let us know, too.

Contact Thompson on [email protected]

The list of drop-off points can be found at www.denishurleycentre. org/page/mandela-month-2024--support-street-lit or

Participating churches:

  • Bluff: NGK Durban Oos, Old Mission Rd, Grosvenor (Mon, Tues, Thurs: 9am until noon)
  • Bellair: All Saints, 1135 Sarnia Rd (Mon-Fri: 8am until noon)
  • Umbilo: St Cyprians, 603 Umbilo Rd (Mon-Fri: 8am until 4pm)
  • Westridge: New Noise, 76 Bank Terrace, Manor Gardens (Mon-Fri: 8am until 4pm)
  • Westville: Our Lady of Lourdes, 14 Westville Rd (Mon-Thurs: 9am until 4pm; Fri 9am until noon)
  • Hillcrest: St Dominics, 1 Mill Rd, Hillcrest (Mon-Fri: 8am until 1pm)
  • Central: Glenridge at Durban Station (Mon-Wed: 8am until 4pm)
  • Central: Denis Hurley Centre, opp Fish Market (Mon to Sun: 8am until 5pm)
  • Berea: Musgrave Methodist, Cnr St Thomas / Musgrave Rd (Mon-Fri: 8.30 until 1pm)
  • Morningside: St James: 115 Venice Rd (Tues-Fri 8.30am until noon)
  • Dbn N: Dbn North Methodist, 3 Swapo Rd (Mon-Fri 8am until noon)
  • Dbn N: Presbyterian, 3 Round the Green, Sunningdale (Mon-Fri: 7am until 1.30pm)
  • Virginia: St Margarets, 11 Delaware Ave (Mon-Fri: 7.30am until 11am)
  • uMhlanga Rocks: St Michaels, 6 Durban View Rd (Mon-Fri 8am until noon)
  • Ballito: All Saints, 61 Townsend Rd (Mon-Fri 8am until 3pm)

Where to find the book vendors: Alvin Dube ‒ La Lucia Mall, by Woolworths; Sbusiso Mnguni ‒ Ballito Life and Style, by the gallery; Donel Tanbeni ‒ KZNSA Gallery; David Sithole ‒ outside municipal satellite container library alongside Workshop; David Jones ‒ Berea Centre; Bulelo Sigabi ‒ Davenport Square; Eric Badise & Godfrey Ngubo ‒ Durban Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre; Richard Nzima & Khanyisile Cele ‒ Pick n Pay Hyper by the Sea; Vusi Meyiwa ‒ Bluff Towers; Xolani Gamede ‒ Umlazi Mega City; Anele Nyembezi around the taxi ranks; Qhawe Mbatha ‒ Bridge City; Mongezi Mtolo ‒ Cortado coffee shop, Musgrave; China Shabalala ‒ around town. Look out for their bright lime green branding.

Independent on Saturday

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