In today’s ever growing technology dependent society, we must never forget the power of reading, as knowledge is power. While 24-year-old Philani Dladla may be homeless, he is living proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
SA People first reported Philani’s story that is now spreading across the globe last year. Known as the “Pavement Bookworm,” after being featured in a documentary by South African filmmaker Tebogo Malope, you can find Philani on the streets of Johannesburg making a living a through his love of books instead of begging. After beating his drug addiction by using self-help books, he raises money to support himself and others by selling and reviewing books, publishers, and authors. His impromptu book club meetings are inspirational and informative.
To encourage children to embrace his love of reading, he gives them books for free, noting that “Reading is not harmful. There is no such thing as harmful knowledge. Reading is only going to make you a better person,” in the video. He is an amazing example of giving to others even when you may be in need.
More motorists are gaining an appreciation for Philani as they stop to discuss books, including authors such as Steven Boykey Sidley who gifted Philani with his latest book. Philani’s favorite author is John Grisham because of the social justice he displays in his writing, which Philani believes the world is lacking.
If you’d like to pay it forward and send books to Philani, you can do so through Tebego Malope. As Philani Dladla stated on his Facebook page, “You don’t have to be rich to change the world. Start with the little that you have. If you inspire one person, you’ve already changed the world.”