The thought of reading and running may seem rather strange to most but not for the advocate who is on a mission to promote reading in society. Advocate Marukgwane Tshiamo Moremogolo, runs marathons while reading books as part of the #Kilometers4books campaign which aims to raise awareness on the importance of reading and to collect books for two underprivileged schools, “When I realised the conditions of Makgatho Primary School in Tshwane and Bula Tsela Primary School in Sebokeng, I knew something had to be done,” he said. He then decided to embark on this humanitarian mission with the help of his team, The Fat Cats Book Club.
Making reading stylish, the advocate ran reading Zakes Mda’s latest book, The Zulu’s of New York at the Two Oceans Marathon held in Cape Town in April 2019. On Sunday the 9th of June 2019, he ran the Comrades Marathon from Durban to Pietermaritzburg while reading the book, Moletlo Wa Wanong by Setswana author Sabata-Mpho Mokae. He did this over a distance of 86.83 km, and remarkably finished at 11:43:47 and came out 94th in the men’s category.
“The reason I will be reading Sabata Mokae’s Setswana book, is because I want to preserve indigenous languages, encourage fellow Africans to read African literature more and to show the world how proud we are of our mother tongue” he commented.
“The response and support from the public has been overwhelming. At the last count we had over 700 books in pledge, hard copies and vouchers. We have accumulated over 250 books that are in our possession at the moment. We initially had a target of 400 books, which we changed to 600 after the overwhelming response from people across the country,” said the athlete.
“I’m grateful to everyone that has played a role in the campaign,” he says with gratitude. FunDza Literacy Trust based in Cape Town, donated books for every kilometre I ran which was 88. Mr Tinyiko Mashaba sponsored 3 books from BookMark publisher. The author, Sabata-Mpho Mokae, donated books as well as Professor Zakes Mda who contributed a whole set of his work. Ithitha Organic donated their very first Children’s book and Morare Thobajane Inc, a law firm, has sponsored us money. Dr Lebogang Phahladira also donates money for every kilometer I ran and so did many other people.
The advocate says that books have always played a huge role in his life, as he has had a passion for reading from a very early age, “Books have empowered me and I think literacy is a key element in Early Childhood Development,” he said.