This South African lawyer is reading while running marathons – for book donations

Marathon 2019

(Quino Al, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Kate Whiting, Senior Writer, Formative Content


On a train? Definitely. Standing at a bus stop? Possibly. But losing yourself in a book while running an ultra marathon? Extreme.

Image: South African Book Development Council

Not for Marukgwane Moremogolo, a 39-year-old South African lawyer who has redefined the concept of multitasking by reading as he runs to raise awareness of the country’s reading and literacy crisis – and collect book donations for libraries.

He recently ran Cape Town’s 56 kilometre Two Oceans Ultra while reading Zakes Mda’s The Zulus of New York, taking breaks between the 44 km mark and the finish line to get stuck into the story.

Reading for pleasure

Moremogolo was spurred on by research showing many South Africans don’t read for pleasure and that children have poor comprehension.

He has asked people to donate books for every kilometre he runs, with the aim of building two libraries, in Atteridgeville and the Vaal area of Johannesburg.

He told The Star: “Kids are not able to comprehend and understand what they are studying because they don’t read books outside the school curriculum.”

He’s now preparing to run the second half of the 89 km Comrades ultramarathon in June, while reading, to collect 600 (mainly children’s) books to distribute during South Africa’s National Book Week in September.

 

Literacy crisis

Image: South African Book Development Council

Only 41% of South African adults have read a book for leisure in the last month, according to a 2016 survey by the South African Book Development Council.

The same year, the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study tests assessed reading comprehension in the fourth grade (nine- to 10-year-olds). They found that 78% of pupils in South Africa fell below the lowest level on the PIRLS scale, meaning they could not understand what they were reading. South Africa came last out of 50 countries surveyed.

The survey also found that 62% of South African primary schools do not have school libraries.

A lack of books and motivation to read and share them with children has culminated in a literacy crisis in South Africa. The country is taking steps to solve this through initiatives including the Primary Teacher Education Project, training teachers how to teach reading.

And with people like Moremogolo raising literacy awareness, South Africa could one day become a nation of bookworms.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

EU Parliament: No EU-US trade agreement without safe data

China, forever new adventures

US Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium: Statement of Trade Committee Chair

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

At UN, Middle East countries discuss steps towards regional nuclear-free zone

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

Plans to keep EU budget funding in 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit

Is it just visa-free travel that Erdogan demands from the EU to not break the migration deal?

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

State aid: Commission concludes that recapitalisation of German NordLB is market conform

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

Cities will lead the electric transport revolution. Here’s why

Trump’s self-centered politics unravels

Globalization 4.0 must build a better world for working people

The role companies play in boosting growth in emerging markets

Remain united for Syrians, UN envoy de Mistura urges Security Council

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century

UN chief laments ending of Cold War-era disarmament treaty

Easing ‘classroom crisis’ in Côte d’Ivoire, brick by (plastic) brick

Thousands risk lives fleeing fighting in Syria’s last ISIL stronghold

Trump in London poisons UK and Europe

Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

The Five Chinese Girls

SDG progress ‘in danger’ of going backwards without change in direction, new UN report reveals

Service and sacrifice of African peacekeepers ‘at the forefront of our minds’: UN chief

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

Nairobi summit: Women’s empowerment a ‘game changer’ for sustainable development

What can Darwin teach the aviation industry about cybersecurity?

UN experts voice ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s ‘consistent pattern’ of denying life-saving medical treatment to detainees

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

UN chief condemns air strike that hit school bus in northern Yemen, killing scores of children

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

Burkina Faso: Dozens killed in clashes, UN chief condemns attacks

UN condemns ‘cowardly’ attack on Libya’s national oil corporation headquarters

MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

COP24: Paris agreement remained alive but fragile while the EU attempts to slow down CO2 emissions for new cars

Promoting Primary Health Care to the Young Health Workforce: a new approach

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Companies can help build a more inclusive world. Here’s how

Criminals thrive on data abundance – here’s how we’ll catch them

European elections: A chance to repel both nationalism and no-deal Brexit

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

On Google antitrust case: “Let’s face it, some companies want to hurt Google and it goes as simple as that”

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

More unemployment and lower wages to make European workers competitive?

European Union: Retail sales show deep recession

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s