Writing to break racial barriers

2018-10-04 06:02
PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE Vijan Naidoo reads his book outside his home in Brake Village.

PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE Vijan Naidoo reads his book outside his home in Brake Village.

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THE injustices of the past have left communities divided and have caused racial barriers in society. Tongaat writer Vijan Naidoo (VN) has a dream of a future where Indians and Africans are reunited and live together as one community.

Coastal Weekly journalist Andile Sithole (AS) caught up with him to learn more about his ideas.

AS: Where did you grow up?

VN: I grew up in Tongaat, Brake Village.

AS: Tell me about yourself; how would you describe yourself in a few words?

VN: I am actively following the spiritual path.

AS: Tell me about your education history; which schools did you go to?

VN: I started my lower education in primary schools in Tongaat. I completed my studied at Tongaat Secondary.

AS: Briefly tell me about your work. You published a book called Ithihaasa [His story], what is the content of this book?

VN: In this book I try to unpack the detailed history of humanity. It’s a multidisciplinary approach to understanding humanity.

AS: You are writing books, where does the love of reading and writing come from?

VN: I started reading at the age of three. My aunties and my mother used to read books to me and that was how the love of reading started. At the age of six my mother enrolled me at the Tongaat Library, which are now Seda offices.

I started to realise that what we were taught at school did not tally with what we were taught by our parents. When I compared the information that I was reading in the books at the library and the information that had been passed on to me by my parents I noticed that something was not making sense.

At the age of 10 years, I realised that there was something wrong with the time frame in history that we were taught at schools. When I was 12 years old, I noticed that there was a huge discrepancy in our history. For example, I believe that when the settlers came to this country, there were people who were already living here. The settlers wrote books and I suspect that they distorted our history. Since then, I have been collecting information about our history for the past 30 years.

AS: Is your book on the shelves yet?

VN: Yes, it is available on the Internet.

AS: Who motivates you in your life?

VN: My mother motivates me. She loves reading and I think I picked it up from her. I believe that a community that has no history does not know where it is going. Educating the youth about where we come from is a crucial point to unite the community. If you look at our communities, many people have lost touch with their roots. The youth have lost the values of ubuntu.

AS: What is your purpose for publishing this book?

VN: I want to see a future where both Indian and African communities live together in a spirit of ubuntu and rebuild a united society in order to break the barriers of miscommunication. I want to do a summarised audio version of my book. I will then do presentations at schools.

AS: What is your message to the youth?

VN: Educate yourself and do a lot of research. Self-empowerment is very important. I educate myself in these subjects and my research took me 30 years before I published the book. I am actually rewriting history.

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