The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture in partnership with Emalahleni Local Municipality honor Wycliffe Mlungisi Tsotsi when opening the state of the art public library in Lady Frere named after this struggle icon.

The day was dedicated to two programmes the handover of the Arts and Craft Centre to the Crafters and the official opening of the public library to boost education in Lady Frere education district.

Welcoming hordes Mayor Councillor Nomveliso Nyukwana said we are on the month when the former statesman Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela was released. “We started at the Arts and Craft Centre to handover the facility to our crafters, all our crafters must come to this facility. In partnership with the sector departments today we are here to showcase the partnership we engaged in with the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture”, said Nyukwana.

“Then children were learning with one teacher but at the new dispensation we have got libraries hence our children will never go wrong on education with the state of art provided to support education. We are here to celebrate the gains of our democracy. We want to educate our communities that education cannot separate you from the community. To keep this library safe we depend on our communities as we have responded to their needs. We must all commit ourselves on education as it is everyone’s business”, said Mayor

Ms Nwabisa Ntsham speaking on behalf of the Crafters said, “We appreciate what the municipality has done for us, now we have got a place to work and sell our craft. We are targeting to have the crafters factory in these premises”.

Honorable Dr Pemmy Majodina MEC for The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture pleaded with the crafters to take care of the Arts and Craft facility. She said in the Eastern Cape we do not have a lot of mines hence we need to use our hands. “We acknowledge the Mayor’s commitment with her executive and the entire council. You must look into using the waste of plastic bags to produce shoes and the department can assist you with that skill. In all your works you must make descriptive information explaining the relevance and the history behind it”, said Dr Majodina.

“This financial year we have handed over two other modular libraries here in Emalahleni, Bengu and Tsembeyi. Wycliffe Mlungisi Tsotsi Public Library will support the growth of the modular libraries in this area”, she said. “We are here to promote the reading nation. We want a nation which does not read in preparation for the examinations but reading to better your life. We will put the reading material on the display area in front checking the calendar months”, said MEC.

“The first thousand days in a child development are more important in learning. When coming to this library you must bring your children as there is an area specifically set aside for them”, she said. As this is the community library people must donate books in this library as it is their resource. We will bring back IsiXhosa novels and other literature.

“The Freedom Charter provides for freedom, doors of learning are now open as all our children went to school, have food and are transported thanks to government. Communities and our parents build mud schools with the purpose to ensure that their children get education irrespective of the fact that they were not educated themselves, we appreciate what they have done. There was nothing wrong with that as there was no one who builds schools for their children. Our government after 1994 build state of the art schools. We are implementing the Freedom Charter hence we are opening this library named after the hero of our nation Wycliffe Mlungisi Tsotsi. We appreciate the fact that we have agreed with the family to name this so important facility after their son and father. It is important to honor heroes like Tsotsi”, said Majodina

O“As government we deliver services free of charge on various service delivery aspects. We must strengthen our democracy and safeguard the facilities in our areas. This is a R12 million state of the Arts facility. There is no sense in destroying what is already in existence. Communities must participate in all community structures, it is a meaningful contribution to democracy”, she said. Mr Zola Tsotsi the son of Wycliffe Mlungisi Tsotsi speaking for the family said the gesture is very important to them as the family.

“My father was working for the nation as the first black principal of Freemantle Boys High and as the Lawyer he was the people’s representative. To free the people was his legacy. He regards education as the important tool for freedom. For the love of education he graduated his doctorate at the age of 75. Learning was a powerful tool in our family as we had extra classes at home organized by my father with the teachers he knew. He taught us to share the knowledge we have and to pass on the education to others on a humble manner”, said Tsotsi.