Creative: Young author wants all children to read lots

2012-11-21 00:00

WHILE many aspiring adult authors often struggle to complete their first books, an 11-year-old has already published two without much effort and is working on her third.

Anele Dlamini, a Grade 5 Wykeham Collegiate pupil, has just become the proud author of two Zulu language story books, Mina Ngisemncane (I’m still a child) and Thula Nana, thula (Hush, baby, hush), released last month.

The books came about when Anele’s mother Phindi Dlamini needed ideas for a project and asked her for help. She got more than she bargained for. “She came up with so many ideas that I even asked her to stop. I was impressed with her creativity and storylines,” Dlamini said.

It wasn’t difficult for the talkative and creative girl to come up with the ideas. “When I look at something an idea pops into my head. I came up with some ideas and typed them and gave them to my mum to read,” she said.

Both books were completed in four weeks. Her mother said Anele had already learnt the alphabet and started showing an interest in books by age five. “My grandmother told me that I was a very fast learner,” said Anele.

Her first attempt at writing was through letters to her family members. The letters were sometimes used as an indirect way of asking for what she wanted. “She would draw pictures of the whole family carrying suitcases. That’s when we’d know that that’s a hint for the family to go on holiday,” Dlamini said.

Anele’s interest in writing and reading then grew and she has since read “countless books” and believes that children should be encouraged to read because there is something to learn from every book.

Although she loves expressing herself through writing, she only sees this as a hobby.

“I want to become an architect because I like how people build houses in different shapes,” she said.

Mina Ngisemncane is a story about a little boy, Sonke, who doesn’t want to be asked to do anything at home. Every time he is asked to fetch his father’s shoes or his mother’s glasses, his response is: ‘I am still small, ask my brother’. His parents and big brother come up with a plan to treat him like a baby, which he discovers is not much fun.

Thula Nana, thula is about Nala, who is babysitting her younger sister, Nana. She puts Nana to sleep and asks her to sleep quietly until Mum comes back.

• Siyathemba.Ben@media24.com

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