MAKE a date for Friday night, February 28 because the 2020 Young Authors Book Initiative (YABI) programme is in full swing, with pupils from across the Midlands meeting regularly to improve their writing skills. YABI is an platform which gives participating pupils basic writing skills. The initiative was created by writer and film producer Makhubalo and Lungile Ikaneng; they are now looking for ways of putting the fun back into fundraising by hosting an event titled Be My Date at the Ubuntu Nest in Howick. Be My Date promises to be a hilarious one-man show which is all about love, primary school crushes, proposals and the imaginary men’s conference. Tickets cost R100 and to book contact 079 755 2254. The YABI started when the duo invited pupils in the select five schools from Grade 9 to 11.“We specified that the pupils should be self-driven and passionate about writing or reading. The participants attended a basic short story writing workshop at the Howick Library and the rest is history,” said the organisers, adding that the objectives of YABI is to encourage reading and writing amongst pupils. “By putting the writing process in their hands, we hope to demystify the written word and make it accessible to them. “We want to show the pupils that books are not difficult products written by strangers, but a fun and educational experience. By making the pupils share their stories and publishing them in a book, we want to create peer role models within schools,” said Ikaneng.The duo urged the public to mark their calendar for the 2020 edition of the Midlands Literary Festival to be held at Fernhill Hotel from August 14 to August 16.