By Andile Nxele

Lumkile Mzukwa resides in Gugulethu although his parents have their origins in an Eastern Cape village called Dyam Dyam in Ngqamakhwe. Lumkile started collecting books in his Gugulethu home in 1991. His project is known as Lumkile’s Book Joint. “This is a journey I started in 1991. I still remember the very first book I bought. It’s entitled, Black Resistance To Apartheid. I bought that book on 28 May 1991 and I am still keeping the receipt. I have even laminated it and it is available”, Lumkile said.  His passion for books led to him to sacrifice the garage of his home to display a variety of titles. 

When asked by NTU News about the origin of the name “ Lumkile’s  Book Joint”, with the emphasis on Joint he explained that the word “Joint”, in the location is usually used to refer to a meeting place like a shebeen or tavern, a place for social drinking by the youth. He decided to use the same term “joint” to mean a similar place but for accessing knowledge through the reading of books.  His books are mostly in English but also include a lot of South African literature from authors like Mqhayi, Rubusana and Tiyo Soga whose works have been translated from IsiXhosa into English.

Lumkile wants to make sure that the African history is exposed and the response he is getting is overwhelming.  Although they have not launched the Book Joint officially, they have a huge number of people visiting.  The books are so many that he is thinking it would be best if his mom could be built a house so that he could be able to utilise the whole house for the increasing number of books that keep on coming. There is no other place like this in South Africa. He feels that it would be a big challenge for anyone to try and duplicate Lumkile’s Book Joint because it has personal books and an exclusivity of knowledge.

In Lumkile’s Book Joint there are about 8 other workers who do voluntary work as they have their own full time jobs. There is also one gentleman in Johannesburg who is part of the joint who assists in communication and marketing the place. The Joint is now known locally, nationally and internationally.

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