Michelle (8)reads books

2017-05-25 06:01
Professor Zakes Mda reads to learners from Siyazakha Primary School in Philippi during a visit he made with child author Michelle Nkamankeng (inset). PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Professor Zakes Mda reads to learners from Siyazakha Primary School in Philippi during a visit he made with child author Michelle Nkamankeng (inset). PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Siyazakha Primary School learners had a had a very inspirational lesson yesterday when two acclaimed authors read to them.

Authors Zakes Mda and Michelle Nkamankeng,8, visited the school as part of the 2017 Africa-Month speaking tour.

The aim of the tour is to visit schools and encourage youngsters to not only read but to write as well, said Mda.

Siyazakha, in Philippi, was the second school to be visited on the day after the scribes had been to the Khanyisa Waldorf school n Plumstead.

“The goal is to promote literature by getting these young learners to read so that they can get motivated to write as well, because that’s equally important,” he noted.

Mda relayed to the learners the importance of writing and how it affects their everyday life.

“When you watch your favourite programme on television, you must understand that there had to be a writer for the script.

When you watch you favourite cartoon or your beloved comic book, a writer is responsible for the words used. So its important that you guys start writing as soon as possible,” he said.

Mda then read to the learners a passage from his latest book titled Prels of uKhahlamba, which is a children’s fantasy-detective story.

Nkamankeng published her first book at the age of 6 years and has gone on to release three more.

She told the attentive class that her love of reading and writing began when she was just four years old.

“I loved reading books and when I was five, I noticed that at the books store all the books where written by adults. I asked myself: ‘why are there no books written by kids?’.

So, not long after that, I was at the beach with my family during a vacation and noticed people waiting at the beach. I was curious and asked them what where they waiting for.

They told me that they had been waiting for the waves to play on them,” she explains.

She said that this was the inspiration for her first book titled ‘Waiting for the waves’.

“When I wrote my first book and gave the manuscript to my parents, they never took it seriously. They just shoved it on the shelf,.

Her parents only took note of her skills by the third book.

“So I want to tell you that we all have a talent and you must focus on it even if people don’t take you seriously,” she advised.

Leo Mbobi, project manager at Amandla Development, an NGO that works with around 12 schools in the area said: “In 2015 we did research and we found that in every 10 children that start school only 4 reach matric.

So we devised programmes to encourage learner participation and mentorship at these schools. We are also happy to have such guest encouraging the children,”he said.

School Principal Nomsa Shosha said that the school was honoured to have such esteemed guest and hoped that the learners have grasped a lot.

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