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Mpumelelo Mtintso on Book Ibhoni

 Mpumelelo Mtintso on Book Ibhoni

image source: @book_ibhoni [Twitter]

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Book Ibhoni, a space to read, learn and share

Many of our first encounters in classrooms begin with books and we have this relationship with books in educational spaces for years. Do we have [these] relationships with books outside of the classroom though? How are we ensuring that we instill a love for reading and not merely an educational activity in our communities? Book Ibhoni offers 10% discounted bicycle rides in and around Soweto to anyone who donates a book or two during their tour(s) in Soweto. Additionally, Book Ibhoni offers books and bicycle markets where local authors share their work with everyone in the space with them. The purpose of the markets is to provide people with a learning and network platform. We spoke to founder of Book Ibhoni and award winning entrepreneur Mpumelelo Mtintso about his role in creating meaningful opportunities for our communities through books and the love for reading.

image source: @book_ibhoni [Twitter]
[interview answers edited for editorial purposes]

If you could thank an author or a book, who or what would it be and why? How has that influenced your love for books and reading?

Kiss That Frog by Brain Tracy. The book had a positive impact on how I carry myself in challenging situations. I was never a positive person however reading the book helped me see optimism in everything life threw at me both personally and in my work.

How was Book Ibhoni born? What inspired you to create this and who did you birth it for?

The #FeesMustFall movement’s significance about fighting for access to education highlighted the lack of reading books in our communities. This inspired me to give children in my community access to books and in doing so, encourage reading by offering discounted bicycle tours in exchange for reading books. I created Book Ibhoni for travelers who read books and people who have books collecting dust at home. Book Ibhoni offers 10% discounts on Soweto bicycle tours to anyone who donates a book or two when they book their Soweto bicycle tour with us.

Please complete the sentence: Books are___?

In the words of Stephen King, books are a uniquely portable magic. For me, books are an escape from reality and to reality, depending.

Tshedza Mashamba