When Thendo Khumalo discovered the joy of reading
Being part of the FunDza Literacy Trust organisation – winner of the 2017 Joy of Reading Award – has improved Thendo Khumalo's ability to both write and edit.
25 February 2019
FUNDZA LITERACY TRUST
For 27-year-old Thendo Khumalo from South Africa, there have been many benefits of becoming part of what he calls the FunDza family – in addition to revealing the joy of reading. “Quite frankly, it has improved my ability to write as well as to edit.”
FunDza Literacy Trust is a South African reading organisation that runs an online reading portal that provides access to books, daily blogs and interviews with young South Africans. In 2017, the organisation won the international Systematic – Joy of Reading Award, which recognises projects and initiatives that promote enthusiasm for reading and help combat global illiteracy. For the FunDza Literacy Trust, winning the prize in 2017 boosted the organisation’s profile and helped create international opportunities.
It has improved my reading habits, and at the same time it has given me a platform to cultivate my own writing as an author. It has also enabled me to enjoy the work of other talented writers
The first time Thendo Khumalo – whose full name is Nhlakanipho Khumalo – saw FunDza was on a browser on a mobile phone – and it was pleasure at first sight: “I immediately liked what I saw, and I decided to become part of the FunDza family.” Thendo Khumalo lives in a village called Oshoek in the province of Mpumalange in South Africa, with his family, including three siblings. He currently volunteers at high school as a teacher, but in his spare time, his focus is elsewhere: “In my spare time I like to write poems and I enjoy reading,” Thendo Khumalo explains.
THE JOY OF IMPROVED READING HABITS
In addition to improving his writing and editing skills, being part of the FunDza family has also helped Thendo Khumalo be able to read good stories written by others from South Africa, as well as writers from abroad.
“It has improved my reading habits, and at the same time it has given me a platform to cultivate my own writing as an author. It has also enabled me to enjoy the work of other talented writers,” says Thendo Khumalo.
The Systematic – Joy of Reading Award was set up by the IT company Systematic, which together with the Next Library awarded the prize for the first time in 2017. Reading projects and initiatives around the world will again have the opportunity to receive financial assistance when the prize is awarded in June 2019.
Thendo Khumalo has an opinion about why it’s important to support reading initiatives and organisations like FunDza.
“I believe that such organisations are very important because some villages – such as the one I live in – simply do not have access to public libraries. In my opinion, FunDza fills an important gap here, and at little or no cost. It helps to have organisations that can easily promote the love of learning, reading and writing,” explains Thendo Khumalo.
ABOUT SYSTEMATIC - JOY OF READING
The international Systematic – Joy of Reading Award recognises projects and initiatives that promote enthusiasm for reading and help combat global illiteracy. The award was set up by the IT company Systematic in collaboration with the Next Library libraries conference, and is presented every two years.
The hunt for this year’s winner is already under way. Read more about the Systematic – Joy of Reading 2019 award.