CCA Donates Books to Westville Correctional Services Prison
The Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within UKZN’s College of Humanities recently donated 52 books to Westville Correctional library as part of its Community outreach programme. The Centre noticed that literacy and education levels in prisons are quite high with libraries and book clubs in prisons being vital for inmates.
The CCA chose the prison with the aim of expanding the inmates’ literature. Audience Development Co-ordinator at the Centre, Mr Sakhile Gumede said; ‘We are giving them books because we want to expand their literature. We want to take them to places, books allows them to travel to places beyond the boundaries.’
During CCA’s festivals such as Poetry Africa and the Time of the Writer, the Centre normally sends poets and writers on prison visits in order to encourage offenders to read and write.
Westville Correctional Services, Manager Mr Themba Mtshali said: ‘Access to books in prisons plays an important role in the rehabilitation of inmates. It also helps inmates follow and stay connected to what is going on in the outside world, and encourages social and mental stimulation. Thank you to the CCA and I wish this to continue.’
The female section of the prison has the Sinothile Reading and Writing Club, which started in 2011. Members of the club have written short stories and poems. With the help of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), they are given an opportunity to showcase their work by participating in various competitions.
Sinothile member, who is both a writer and poet, Ms Zodwa Zulu said; ‘I am grateful and excited. The books help me to develop my vocabulary. I learnt the skills to write poetry during the CCA Poetry Africa visits and it has made me love my own language.’
Another member, Ms Sithokozile Nothando Magwaza added, ‘On behalf of Sinothile Reading and Writing club, we thank the CCA, not only for the books but for all the love and support they give us. CCA taught us how to write short stories and poems. The Drama department is currently teaching us Drama. We are truly grateful.’
Photograph: Nomcebo Mncube