An award winning author has released his latest book which despite being written three decades ago is still very much relevant today. Sipho Kekezwa, 57, is the man behind a book titled Idabi Lobuqu , a fictional story about a criminal during the Struggles in the explosive 1980s. The main character in the book is a child of political activists who everyone expects to continue where his parents left, but turns to crime instead. This story follows this young man to Johannesburg where he joins other bandits and continues his life of heists with dire consequences. The author, who lives in eNkanini in Khayelitsha, said that he penned this story during the time great of upheavals and uncertainty in the country.“This story is a combination of things I have witnessed at the time as well as my own fictional ideas. Its about the personal battles that this young man face after losing his parents and turning to crime,” he said. The character justifies his thieving ways as another form of fighting the government. “This book has been turned down by publishers all these years, I was happy to see that Ilitha Publishers had interest in the book. There were many logistical problems that led to this book not being published but I noticed that there also many grammatical errors which as I have grown as a writer I have spotted and rectified,” he said. Kekezwa’s accolades include being the first isiXhosa writer to win the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature Awards in 2013 with his novel, Ndizigwaze Ngokwam! He also won first prize in the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards. He has published five books with a keen focus on youth issues and encourages writing in isiXhosa and is making a living through his books as well as editing others. “I give free advice to authors and I also do proofreading as well. “It is important that we encourage young people to read and write in isiXhosa despite the struggles that come with it. We need to promote the language,” he said. The biggest obstacle for isiXhosa writers was that the market was small and the books weren’t flying off the shelves. “As result publishers don’t want to take the risk with bookstores being stuck with books on the shelves,” he said. He said even though his book was set in the 80s there are valuable life lessons that apply today. “Crime doesn’t pay and people need to understand that even if you don’t like a government there are certain rules one shouldn’t break,” he said. The book is available from Ilitha Publications contactable on 072 528 0491.