New mural for Hout Bay library

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas and Mayco member for security and social services, JP Smith, address guests at the unveiling ceremony.

A beautiful mural depicting Hout Bay was unveiled at Hout Bay library last week, thanks to a partnership between the provincial legislation, the City of Cape Town’s library and information centres directorate and arts and culture NPO, the Lalela Project.

The mural, which was painted by 18 female pupils from the Lalela Project, was described as a “meeting of minds” by ward councillor Roberto Quintas, who also explained that it was the brainchild of local librarians Desiree Howard and Renee Cohen.

“I see people of all ages and from all Hout Bay’s communities coming to this library, which is an impeccably well-run library. With all the violence we have seen in Hout Bay, it represents a safe space for our youngsters, and we also have plans to install a job centre here,” Mr Quintas said.

Also in attendance at the unveiling ceremony on Saturday January 13 was the
City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith.

“I was quite shocked when the social services directorate was handed to me, in addition to my work in safety and security, last year. However, libraries are something I can easily relate to. When I
was growing up in Parow, my parents worked shifts
so I spent a lot of time reading at the local library,” he said.

“In fact, one night I was locked in after the library had closed. That’s how much time I spent there”

He said in the coming year, the City had a number of plans for its libraries, including the introduction of e-readers.

“I am always amazed by the passion of our librarians, who can act as substitute parents, guidance and life counsellors. For this reason it is my belief that our libraries need a shot in the arm. I am a proud geek,
and to this end we will also
be introducing board games to our libraries for
youngsters to exercise their minds.”

Thanking Lalela for their efforts in painting the library mural, Mr Smith also announced a mural project that will be rolled out throughout the Cape Town metro.“Every year, we will do four massive murals around Cape Town, as well as a number of pop-up murals. The idea was suggested to me by the well-known artist Falco, who I had commissioned to decorate internet cafés I used to own.”

Three- to four-storey walk-up spaces would be used for these purposes, at a cost of R200 000 for the four murals.

Mr Quintas said he recognised the need for such a project in Hout Bay, and had already engaged with Mr Smith on piloting the programme in Hangberg.

“Not only will it create job opportunities in terms
of preparing the spaces,
but it can also be the benchmark for the City of Cape Town.”

Ms Cohen was delighted to see her mural idea come to fruition, saying she was pleased it was “not just a pie in the sky idea, but took
the project to the grass roots” of what children were achieving in Hout Bay.

Lalela alumnus Wonga Lucas concluded the unveiling ceremony by reading several poems he had writ-