all agape she is
mock horror it is
the e-TV newsreader is

to read a book
she gasps
for R700,000

a duty it was
bestowed upon
a lawyer

(perchance one’s parents
were not quite right
warning one of careers
one should avoid

the used car salesman
lawyers and estate agents
at the top of the list
politicians there too)

to read a book
for R700,000
it must have been
quite a delight

not quite
Nal’ibali style
reading for pleasure

we don’t know its size
(might that matter)

or its scope or influence
whether it was in
big print or whether
there were any pictures

was it a labour of love
(what do the Unions say)
might it have contributed
to transformation and the
lifelong habit of reading

for R700,000

(Monday night’s e-TV anchor Sally Burdett is all open-mouthed at the continuing SARS-show.)

a delight

not a duty
reading is
it should be
a delight

it should be
cool too
(Nal’ibali style)

it should have its own

(it should be a public policy issue)

and with just 15 minutes
of reading a day
we can build the transformative
lifelong habit of reading
into a labour of love

so says Dr Sebabatso Manoeli
in a recent Mail & Guardian article
with the following words
to Oupa Nkosi’s accompanying image

“Wonderful world: Children who read
at home for pleasure do better at school”

Reading should be
a delight not a duty
the article is thus titled

and around election time
all and sundry quote
the country’s first

“Education is the most
powerful weapon that you
can use to change the world”

yet we seem not
convinced that reading
for pleasure is just as vital

a delight

(“Reading should be a delight not a duty” (M&G online October 20 2018). Dr Manoeli heads up the DG Murray Trust, which aims to get children reading by grade four.)