By Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust
Published December 30, 2012
At the launch on site in Rotten Row, Harare, Zimbabwe on December 6, 2012, Magnus Carlquist, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare said, “Today, the library becomes more of a workshop, a laboratory than a silent room full of books. I believe the citizens of Harare have the right to a decent and modern library in the middle of the beautiful city of Harare. I hope personally that the renovation of the Harare City Library is the start of something bigger; we know that there is need for better libraries in many parts of Harare and other Zimbabwean cities and communities.”
In recognition of the projects aim to build new communities through reading culture in Zimbabwe and that the biggest consumers of literary works are children and future generations,the event brought in more than 60 children from schools in and around Zimbabwe.
Students from primary and high schools around the country provided entertainment on the day. While some students played violin compositions and others read an extract of the famous Swedish children’s story Pippi Long Stocking (a fictional character in a series of children’s books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, and adapted into multiple films and television series) in English, Ndebele and Shona, many others provided backdrop entertainment showing off their multi-talented dance and singing skills.
Culture Fund Executive Director, Farai Mpfunya, said, “we are here today because library services enhance our culture, one of the reasons why the Culture Fund takes a broader view of our culture; what we have done in the past, how we are living today and how we plan to live in the future. Today we have yet another opportunity to help connect the literary arts with many Zimbabweans. This is exciting in the looming era of peace and prosperity in our country.”
The funding for the Harare City Library Renovation project will be managed by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, a long-standing partner of Sweden in Zimbabwe. The Culture Fund provides financial and technical support to cultural practitioners, institutions, and activities with the ultimate aim of contributing to a dynamic, diversified and sustainable culture sector in Zimbabwe.
In addition to the Harare City Library grant, Sweden has since 2006 been injecting approximately USD 1 million annually into the culture sector in Zimbabwe through the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust.
The Harare City Library is a Trust established by an Act of Parliament for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe. It has operated as a library since 1902. Its award-winning building in Rotten Row celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012.Seen as a building of architectural and aesthetic importance to the City of Harare, the Swedish support will lead to its preservation and protection in accordance with the Museums and Monuments Act.
“The restoration and re-equipping of the library will be of tremendous benefit to the Harare public, young and old, and will enable us to extend the Library’s services beyond the city,” said Mike Curling,the Harare City Library Trust chair.