“When you see someone in uniform, it’s often difficult to imagine the life they lead beyond their occupation. Ntokozo Ndlovu spends his days working as a soldier in the South African National Defence Force, a job made all the more difficult with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But it’s the extracurricular work that Ndlovu does with The Web Foundation that makes him one of the brightest young South Africans. The Web Foundation works to support, motivate and inspire children in rural schools to read, participate in sport and engage with art. It’s geared towards increasing literacy skills while also providing the children with access to quality books and a sustainable development plan. Ndlovu proudly explains that the foundation has built 45 school libraries in rural areas across the country, as well as three e-libraries. The libraries have reached more than 18 000 children and provide access to more than 375 000 books.
Somehow, in the meantime, Ndlovu has managed to publish two books: the first, Matsimane and His People, is about his family’s history, and the second is an isiZulu children’s book called Izethuso Neziluleko Zabazali Bami. Ndlovu does this work because he believes in the power of reading and writing, learning and developing. “To improve your writing, write more. To improve your public speaking, speak more publicly. To improve your knowledge, teach more. To improve your relationships, give more. To build resilience and optimism, do more,” he exclaims.
His drive is to leave a legacy of goodwill and to make the world better than he found it. “I want to see a literate nation, because through literacy we can win the fight against poverty.”