South Africa’s most popular and successful designers, beloved by celebrities, and passionate about glamour, Gert Johan Coetzee , has donated 150 books to children at the Place of Refuge 911 in Newlands, Johannesburg.
According to Coetzee, books open up a world of imagination, and there was no better Christmas gift.
Coetzee told The Star that advocating child literacy and education was a soft spot for him, and he wanted to continue this initiative in future.
“It was a challenge growing up with dyslexia but it’s nothing that you can’t overcome with a positive attitude,” said Coetzee.
The celebrity designer told The Star that he simply asked everybody who attended his show to bring a book and place it on the pink runway.
“In Madiba’s words, a country’s strongest weapon is education, and for me, having grown up with dyslexia, I know what it’s like not to be able to read.
“I feel that when you teach a child to read you unlock a world of possibilities by teaching them creativity and imagination,” said Gert Johan Coetzee.
According to IOL, growing up with the condition, he had battled in school by not being able to read.
“I want children to enjoy books and the worlds they open up for a reader, because that provides a window into a world of opportunities. We had planned to take the books to Joburg’s Shine branch next year. But when I learnt about the children at 911, I thought they deserved a treat for Christmas,” added Coetzee.
“Not many people knew what it was; in schools they didn’t really understand it. My family turned to home schooling… fortunately we were in a position to be home-schooled. Still today, my mom and dad are my biggest supporters,” he said.
* Donations in cash or kind such as food, clothing toiletries and toys are welcome. To find out how to lend a hand, call 011 477 4909.