Professor Claire van Deventer and Malibongwe Luyenge, Senior Librarian: George Library at the inaugural book discussion of Ilitha Book Club at the Thembalethu library. Claire led the discussion, and Malibongwe translated everything that she said, into isiXhosa.
Ilitha Book Club had its first book discussion on Friday, 19 January 2018 at the Thembalethu Library with input by George Library Services.
Claire van Deventer, a retired Professor of Wits Medical School, and who is a member of Ilitha Book Club, discussed and read snippets from Maru by Bessie Head.
With care, respect and utmost consideration and sensitivity, Claire started off with a biographical description of the hardship and pain, rejection and ultimate triumph of the author of Maru, Bessie Head. This description led to a better understanding of the book.
Maru tells the story of young Margaret, an orphan from a despised tribe, who is rejected and even spit on at school. She turns to books, reads a lot and eventually becomes a teacher in a Botswana village. Although not beautiful, Margaret’s captivating voice and eloquent gaze brings her under the attention of Maru and Moleka, bosom friends, whose love turns to hatred as they compete for Margaret’s attention and heart.
Love’s enduring value and positive elements left the audience with feelings of hope, understanding, forgiveness and appreciation as members of the book club revealed their innermost thoughts and feelings after the book discussion. As good conquers evil and light overshadow darkness and negative remarks, Margaret found a place where she both belonged and found love’s enduring values.
Visually impaired Thuthula Gcuwa from Ilitha book club, described the event as an inspirational story about humanity, whilst Bonginkosi Nqcethe felt that no matter who you are, you should never give up and never lose hope and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. According to Nqcethe it is important that a person should never be ashamed of who he or she is.Last published 24 January 2018