Toys lie idleYingwani Mashaba

Library staff shortages and lack of educator commitment are depriving children of their educational development rights.

When the North West provincial library and information services introduced toy library services around the province for children’s use, it had hoped the service would be fast-tracked but this was never to be!“Due to library staff shortages, the toy library is not yet operational for public use,” said the local Oukasie librarian.

The toy library packages comprise 19 boxes and include games, puzzles and other educational aids. Delivered around June 2006, they have never been bar-coded let alone recorded in the system.

Our library only has me as a staff member and I have to carry all this work-load of issuing and receiving books and helping with computers.

It is not possible for me to service the toy library at the same time,” says the librarian.The toy library is in a separate room because the “toy pieces make a lot of noise. We have people studying.

If we operated a toy library at the same time, it would make the library chaotic!” says a depressed librarian.

Research shows that toys help stimulate and develop various skills in children such as muscle development, perceptual, social and auditory coping skills.

It also helps children with comprehension skills and hand-eye coordination and construction skills.However, even early learning centres are not utilising the toy library centre.

My biggest fear is that if any of the pieces are damaged or lost, the borrower is responsible for the replacement of the whole set – not just the missing piece!” says a pre-school educator. Kids could either damage or steal some of the pieces.

To replace them, amounts to a lot of money which we cannot afford!” she says.Meanwhile a senior official at Madibeng's library services said that the authority is aware of staff shortages.

"We are working around the clock to correct the situation," said the official.

Pensioner relies on childhood hobby to supplement income

"Alfred Modua stands with the fruits of his labour"

Yingwani Mashaba

Upon retirement six years ago, Alfred Modau turned to his childhood hobby to supplement his pension income.The 74 year old Modau, born in Kubvi-Venda, Limpopo is a self-taught craftsman.

He uses basic tools like an axe, knife, rough file and an assortment of sandpaper which varies in grades of roughness and softness.

With these modest tools the retired Modau, who was once employed by the then Transvaal Provincial Administration (TPA), juggles his work on his current projects – a bowl and a walking stick. “Once an image comes to my brain I quickly work on it whatever the time of day,” he says.

Designs flow freely as I engage on an art piece. I do not sit down and draw all these finished pieces you see here,” he points proudly at his creations.

Amongst his crafts are walking sticks, bowls, cooking spoons and hand-crafted pieces of furniture which he sells to his church members and local people. “I used to carve and mend shoes even at the time I was employed by TPA.

But at that time I did not have enough time to complete most of my designs which I conceived in my head,” says Modau. “Retired people should polish their skills and find ways to set up small businesses in order to boost their pension scheme,” he advises.

This Bird…

This bird is a burden of bureaucracy,It beeps, creeps, diminishes and freezesWith fermented feathers,This bird panics with pride, peaceAnd lavish like peacock and purgery.This bird is a flammable falcon.

This bird is flammableLike a flame machine,Faster than traveling news,It tell lies and lyrics,It conveys complacency and complimentsWith cunning complex.

This bird lays liabilities,Engraves intelligence and integrationsEnslaves corruption and dedication together,Denied morality and mortality,Her children are diplomats and diplopoda,Conspirators and constipators.

This bird is loved by many,It composes and gives tunes,It comprises bribery and fame,It hates truth and honesty,It hates truth and reconciliation,You play fair, it investigates, This falcon is fabricated,Fobbed with forgiveness and forgery,This falcon is fatal, fantastic and false,it is drifty, drilly and drippy.Culture is being castrated and cultivated.

I arrest my case,Lest I get killed,Lest my ink get corrupted,Lest I be ostracized,I arrest my pen,Lest tears bury me.

Pastor Andries Linda Mbokazi


Numsa News