Learning to read with ‘The Witness’

2008-06-20 00:00

What is your connection with The Witness and to Pietermaritzburg?

I was born in Pietermaritzburg and the first thing that I learnt to read was The Natal Witness. I was taught by my late mother who was very strict with me when it came to pronunciation as she had an English father.

Where were you born, where did you grow up? What’s your educational background?

I was born at the old Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg 52 years ago and I grew up in a place called Macibisa which is in the Edendale area. I have a Standard 8 education.

How do you spend your days?

I start my day off with The Witness for work purposes and, of course, for myself, and update my colleagues on the important issues that are related to our work.

Do you write letters to other newspapers? Why do you choose The Witness?

No never. The Witness has been my favourite newspaper for as long as I can remember and I find it a bit awkward to relax with any other paper.

How do you receive your news about South African current affairs and why do you follow it?

My husband buys the paper everyday without fail and I also love to watch the news on TV or listen to news on the radio.

I am a politician at heart and I would love to be among the politicians to be able to debate a lot of things that are taking place in our country and elsewhere.

Do you have any other passions or interests?

If I had the means, I would love to be a journalist. I am inspired to write about whatever I see is good and will be of interest to other readers like myself.

What do you think is the value of letter writing? What inspires you to write letters?

I think that it is very valuable for one to put one’s opinions in writing and let the world know how one feels. I am inspired by many things that are happening around me and it makes me feel better about myself when I have people asking me to write letters on whatever is bothering them.

It makes me feel good to see that there are people out there who trust me as a letter writer and know that I am prepared to listen to them and also help them to be heard via my letters.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing South Africa today?

Crime, xenophobia, poverty and reverse discrimination are serious issues that our government needs to look at if it takes off its blinkers.

Your age, marital status and children?

I am 52 years old, have been married for the past 34 years and have three children and two beautiful granddaughters.

What do you believe has been your best letter?

I think that the letter questioning Thabo Mbeki on the Zimbabwe status and also the fact that I have said that Robert Mugabe must go to an old-age home now where he belongs.

Do you get any feedback as a result of your letters?

No, I do not and I would like readers to challenge me and make it more exciting for me.

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