Alexandra Community Library – Through the looking-glass

Alex Landscape by Tommy Machaba

Alex Landscape by Tommy Machaba

For a suburban girl like me, driving into Alexandra township is akin to diving through the looking-glass into a whole new world.

Alexsan 2Colours burst off the roadside, goats amble in mysterious plodding thought through hooting traffic and chickens meander aimlessly through people’s legs.

It seems as though an enormous fiesta is going on all the time.


I felt like I had wandered into the true heart of my city in all its techni-coloured brilliance.

Alexsan 1In the middle of all of this lies the Alexandra Community Library, a quiet sanctuary in the bustle of township life.

Over 3 500 people regularly use the library and asking directions culminated in a crowd of people happy to point me in the right direction. A veritable swarm of school children helped to carry the boxes into the library itself.

Nelson Mandela Education QuoteInside its doors rows of students sat hunched over textbooks devouring knowledge and no doubt battling though complex high school mathematics.

The fact that schools are on holiday made their commitment all the more worth praising.

I think I can say with some certainty that I didn’t spend my holidays studying!


The Alexandra Community Library falls under the Alexsan Kopano Educational Trust established in 1986 to bring the community together.

alex_sideThe multi-purpose community resource centre lies adjacent to the sports stadium.

As well as sports and recreation it also includes the library, a computer centre, clinic, careers guidance, skills training, counselling and a range of educational experiences for all ages.

My boxes were spilled open and the contents examined with enormous pleasure. Knowing my beloved books are going to be read and enjoyed makes parting with them a little easier. I hope that they will enrich others’ lives the way they enriched mine and open a whole new world of possibilities.

nelson-mandela-dayThis Mandela Day (18 July 2013), why not have a look at your shelves and give someone else the gift of reading.

Any donations of books, desks, shelves or monetary support is welcomed.

If you have books you’d like to donate you can contact them directly or send me a message and I’ll arrange to collect and drop them off.

There was a special request for comic books!

Find out more about the Alexandra Community Library


Address:                   Corner of 12th Avenue & Selborne Street, Alexandra

Tel:                            +27 (0) 882 1673 / 1142

Email:              /

Fundraising number:   01 100638 000 5


14 thoughts on “Alexandra Community Library – Through the looking-glass

  1. Pingback: Homepage

  2. I had a trip to Alex (once). The inspiration holds to this day. A friend (Dionne MacDonald) danced with the Phedi’s every Sunday. This group amazed me. This is ordinary people, a lot of them probably doing menial work, earning little … and still they formed groups to work out themes to dance. I still have some of the photos. Each group had a theme they danced. One could discern the story in the dancing. The rhythm, energy, synergy, spontaneity!!

    I won’t tell about the time I almost went to Alex by mistake with a black taxi driver.

  3. This was a very nice thing you did here.
    I have a WHOLE bunch of books, hundreds I won’t read.
    I will try and send them over, posting will only be a few pounds..

    Least you never ran a goat over 🙂


      • They may, but I did this before. When I was a football manager we (The club) sent 10 sets of old football strips to Africa, I think it was Nigeria? Not sure..And we got pictures back of them wearing them. Scotland has spoilt kids, do you think the kids where you are need them more? Seriously..


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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