Speech by Mayor Cllr Bernard Manyenyeni at the Handover of Children’s Corners and Books at Council Libraries to Be Held On Thursday 18th May 2017 (Dzivarasekwa Library)
The greatest gift that one can bestow on their children is education. No amount of wealth without educational support will do any good to your children.
It is with that background that we are gathered here today to celebrate books and the culture of reading.
My role as Mayor would not be complete if I do not oversee the development of such facilities as the children’s reading corners.
Our friends from Book aid International helped us to refurbish two of our libraries in Kambuzuma and Dzivarasekwa.
We hope this partnership will develop further to include the training of our librarians especially those that deal with children’s issues.
Book Aid International, through their funders Aggreko, not only ensured the refurbishing and book restocking projects was successful but that we are gathered here.
This is a clear testimony of what the City and its partners can achieve in uplifting not only the facilities in the City but also the lives of residents. The City is open to such partnerships.
Together we can achieve great things.
I am sure that the refurbished children’s corners and the new books in our two libraries will attract more young people to these facilities. The books will take our children from the streets and help mould them into better citizens.
The books will give them more knowledge and that will help them grow up to be responsible citizens.
Investing in libraries and books resonates well with our catch them young programme where the City is engaged in programmes to catch children at very tender ages so that they become responsible community members.
Harare has deliberately activated programmes aimed at attracting more children off the streets. These include sports and arts festivals.
The City and indeed Zimbabwe needs a responsible citizenry. We need to keep our children away from drugs and other social ills associated with spending their time on the streets and idleness.
Reading is also one of the best activities to provide the foundational language and literacy skills our children need to succeed.
To our children this is your facility, use it wisely. I became Mayor because I religiously read my books. I am who I am today because I have a reading culture.
These libraries have been stocked with books that I am sure will find interesting and educative. They will broaden your tastes and expand thinking and vocabularies.
The onus to take care of the books is however not on our staff alone, but to every child and adult to ensure that the books and section of the libraries are kept in condition for future generations.
These are public facilities; let us use the books wisely and return all the books we borrow in good condition.
Can I take this opportunity to appeal to the corporate sector and other people and organisations to come on board and help refurbish public facilities in the City? The City is open to such partnerships. We have several libraries that need the same infrastructure.
On behalf of the City let me thank all those who have played a part to achieve this. It is my hope that we will continue working together as we seek to make Harare a World Class City buy 2025.