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Ndumie Mzamo

Meet Ndumie Mzamo | Library Assistant at Sivuyiseni Primary School

We would like to introduce you to one of the people who make our libraries work. Ndumie Mzamo has been a library assistant at Sivuyiseni Primary School in Makhaya, Khayelitsha for the past two and a half years.

What do you most enjoy about your position?

What I most enjoy is bringing stories into life. I achieve this mainly through storytelling using sound effects and props.

What is your biggest challenge?

My main challenge is that space and resources are limited.

What is your favourite book – and why?

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga. The opening sentence of the book is rather unusual “I was not sad when my brother died”. In this book, Tambudzai (Tambu) tells a story of growing up in a poor family in rural Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Her desire is to go to school but her family cannot afford to send both her and her older brother. Her brother is then taken in by her educated and wealthy uncle to study at the mission school. After her brother’s death, she is taken in by the uncle as a replacement. For the first time in her life, she is exposed to hot and cold running water and a toilet. She is shocked to learn that her relatives eat meat, eggs and roasted bread for breakfast. I enjoyed this book as it highlights issues of identity, gender, desire, determination and class. It’s a read any girl can relate to.

Which book do your children most enjoy?

These are some of the books the children enjoy: Three Friends and a Taxi, Jamela’s dress, Happy Birthday Jamela, Usiswana Sibomvu, Uhambo luka Musa, Ikati eyayithanda ukucula (The Cat Loved Singing) and Imbiza ethethayo (Talking Pot).

What has been your most memorable moment as a library assistant?

I think my most memorable moment was when I had asked the Grade R learners to make musical instruments out of recyclable things. The response I got from the kids was unbelievable. Most of the learners had done their instruments and were all so excited to participate in our library idols competition. That was a wonderful experience.

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