Dladla noticed beggars on the street asked for change in return for nothing, so he thought of offering book reviews in exchange for a few bucks. He always had a love of books, and wanted to share it with the world.
Dladla offered to sell books with prices based on his reviews. He charged 10 South African rand (about $1 US) for books he didn't like very much, to 80 rand ($6 US) for his favorites. As a matter of principle, he wouldn't sell books he hadn't read.
Dladla's reviews were a hit, leading to meaningful literary discussions held with strangers on the street. The positive reaction inspired him to make a better life for himself.
"Seeing their smiles motivated me to keep using the little I had to spread happiness," Dladla wrote on his website. "From that point on, I knew I never wanted to go back to being a drug addict." Dladla began using the money he made from book sales to buy food and supplies instead of drugs.
Dladla also launched a reading program for underprivileged kids in his neighborhood. He hopes the program will help young people avoid his initial path of drug use. "Reading is not harmful," Dladla said. "There is no such thing as harmful knowledge."
Dladla isn't the only person in the world taking action to promote literacy and get kids reading.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, postal worker Ron Lynch was delivering mail when he saw 12-year-old Matthew Flores searching for advertisements and junk mail to read. Matthew told Lynch that he loved to read, but his family didn't have books at home and he couldn't afford bus fare to get to the library.
Lynch posted a picture of Matthew on Facebook and asked friends to donate books. He had no idea that his request would go viral, but once it did, Matthew received thousands of books donated from folks all around the world. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, Matthew now has an extensive personal library.
JetBlue recently launched a literacy program called "Soar With Reading." Part of the initiative involved setting up vending machines that dispense children's books for free in three locations around the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The program has put more than 16,000 books in kids' hands, with a goal of 100,000 donated books.
Elizabeth Willians and Stacey Butera are eighth-grade English teachers at Biloxi Junior High School in Mississippi. They had the idea to transform the school's drab lockers into a literary wonderland, promoting reading and excitement for books. The two teachers completed the project with the help of 40 volunteers. They say this simple project is already having an impact. Williams told ABC News, "We've gotten exactly the response we wanted. Students who never thought about reading are now asking questions."
Recently, administrators at West Ashley High School in Charleston, South Carolina, removed Courtney Summers' novel, Some Girls Are, from the freshman reading list after parents complained about the subject matter, which includes topics like bullying, rape and drug use. Within days of the ban, blogger Kelly Jensen organized a donation drive and asked readers to send copies of Some Girls Are to the Charleston County Public Library. Fans of the book responded with more than 1,000 copies donated.
James Patterson's 2015 young-adult novel, Public School Superhero, is about a sixth grader who takes on a superhero alter ego to get through his school days. Patterson wrote the story after learning that kids in inner-city schools felt that there weren't enough books for them, ones that reflected their experience. Around the time of the book's release in the spring of 2015, riots in Baltimore inspired Patterson to donate 25,000 copies of Public School Superhero to the city so every Baltimore student in the third through seventh grades could have a copy free.