Philani Dladla is a South African homeless man, but he loves books and has been called the “Pavement Bookworm” and now he’s got another title, book author. Philani Dladla, who used to be drug-dependent managed to turn his life around due to his love of books, particularly the motivational ones.
He is now clean and plans to dedicate his life in serving others. Rather than being a panhandler, he sold used books to motorists, but with a difference. He only sold the books that he had read so that he’ll be able to give the buyer a book review. The prices of the books vary. He would sell a book for one dollar if he did not like it or price it at six dollars if the book is worth reading.
He also provides another form of service. Although he was still homeless (until about a month ago) he never failed to use whatever money he had to buy bread and soup daily for other homeless people. He said he wanted to spread happiness and the smiles he received from them kept him motivated.
The new bookworm
Today, he is no longer homeless, but he continues to feed the homeless people who are on the streets. Likewise he had started a “Pavement Bookworm” Book Readers’ Club in a park. Kids could stay there and read until fetched by their parents after work.
Dladla, who lives in Johannesburg, had set up a website where people can donate books or even support a young member of the reading club he had started.
Aside from that, he had written his own book. It’s a memoir called “The Pavement Bookworm,” which will be published in October by Jacana Media, a publisher in South Africa.
The story follows the life of the 24-year old Dladla and will recount what drove him to do drugs and why he became homeless, his love of reading and how it turned his life around.
The young man is kept very busy today by his reading foundation, which was acknowledged by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who lauded his work of getting more children to read.
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