Hosea Tokwe has scored a first in the development of grassroots libraries in Zimbabwe by scooping two prestigious awards in a month that aim at providing support to the development and improvement of school libraries in the Midlands region of Zimbabwe. The awards are the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Books for Children Award that awarded Tokwe a grant for t he purchase of books and the International Library and Information Group (ILIG) International Award for supporting Matenda School Library in Zvishavane.
According to Chartered Institute of Lilrary and Information Professionals (CILIP) website, “The ILIG International Award is awarded to a person, group or committee, which has made a real difference to a community through their work in library and information services in countries outside the UK.” The award comprises a cash prize and a one year’s free subscription to Focus on International Library and Information Work, ILIG’s journal.” In nominating Hosea Tokwe, “The judging panel was struck by the commitment and contribution that Hosea . . . has made in the establishment of the Matenda School Library in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe. . . . to be inspirational and that the efforts and work . . . was worthy of further recognition.” said CILIP website.
One of the two individuals that nominated Hosea, Professor Paul Sturges stated that, “The success story of Matenda School Library points the way to fruitful co-operative structures that can involve committed professionals in a developing country, professionals in the Diaspora and other interested individual.” reported CILIP website.
The IASL Books for Children Award is a cash prize for the purchase of books to support the library with reading material.
Tokwes’ efforts at Matenda started off with the establishment of a school library utilising local resources and book donation from Darien Book Aid Plan, and Weaver Press among other generous donors. The school library is now helping children to develop reading habits and acquiring knowledge.
Tokwe challenged fellow professional colleagues to commit to projects of developing community libraries to ensure that those who seek information can receive and use it to fulfil their desires .