A beautiful nine meter wide mural depicting the community of Umlazi W was painted on the wall of the library on 10 December 2012. The design was drawn by Elder Scott Brazee, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as The Mormons). Elder Brazee’s desire was to portray Umlazi W in a positive way by showing the importance of family and community.
The centre of the mural shows a group of people representing the different age groups of the family unit. A young man in a school uniform stresses the importance of education, while a boy in traditional Zulu clothes represents the rich culture and strength of the future of the nation. A group sitting and standing on a car represent the hope that we all believe in. It depicts getting away from the busyness of life and stopping to take some time to look at the beauties around them. The house on the right side represents the importance of our homes and the safety we want to feel there.
A quote by former Church leader Joseph Smith indicating that “. . . if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things,” is painted in the sky on the upper left hand side of the mural.
As missionaries for the Church, the Elders are encouraged to do service based activities regularly. Elder Brazee brought up the idea for the mural to his zone (a group of 12 missionaries that serve in the area of Umlazi) and they were in favour of the project.
Elders Tlathi and Goodman had connections at the library so they contacted the manager, Zanele Shongwe. The project was approved and the date was set. The twelve Elders came to the library the morning of 10 December 2012 to begin the project that would end up taking over 20 hours, with Elder Brazee and Elder Ohanga also working the following day.
As people came to the library during the painting the Elders were able to explain the mural and why they felt the desire to donate it to the community. The Umlazi W Library is excited to have the beautiful mural as part of its commitment to the strength of the community. One man stated that he appreciates that there is something beautiful to look at as he enters the library.
Elder Brazee, Elder Ohanga, and the ten Elders that joined them donated their time, and the paint, for free as part as their contribution to the community in which they serve.