In November 2013, the South African filmmaker Tebogo Malope interviewed a peculiar street vendor in Johannesburg as part of a series of conversations with everyday folk around town. A 24-year-old homeless man with a trove of books, all of which he’d read, this vendor would chat about them with passers-by, sell his wares at rates scaled to his reviews, and give a few away free to kids. He explained to Malope that he’d used books to overcome addiction, find merit in life, and get out of abject poverty—and that he wanted to inspire others, especially kids, to find value in reading. Posting the two-part interview to YouTube, Malope dubbed him the “Pavement Bookworm,” a name that stuck as the unsuspecting vendor quickly became a cultural hero and internet meme.
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Source Credits: Mark Hay in Good