Youth Day | 16 June is a time to reflect on the youth's sacrifices, says award-winning teen author

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Award-winning author stacey fru has four published books at the age of 14
Award-winning author stacey fru has four published books at the age of 14
  • Johannesburg teen Stacy Fru had published four books that tackle various children's issues.
  • Her Stacy Fru Foundation hosts reading drives and advocates for child education, safety and security.
  • Fru said that the youth of 1976 showed her just how powerful and impactful young people could be. 

At 14, Stacy Fru is one of the continent's youngest award-winning authors and literacy advocates and for her, 16 June is a time to reflect on the sacrifices the youth of 1976 made and the impact they had on literacy. 

"It is a time for us to look within our community and society and see if the sacrifices that were made by these poor high school [pupils] who wanted the best for not only their future, but the future of the rest of the country. It is a time to look back at their sacrifice and how they saw the importance of literacy and saw how important it was for them to be able to learn in a medium of their choice," Fru said.

Fru added:

That impacted generations and generations to come. They literally fought for the rights of the youth, and especially being a high school student, and with those students who took part in the protest being high school students, it makes us feel like a part of something. It makes us understand how powerful the youth is and how much we should value the education we have.

In 2018 the Johannesburg teen launched the Stacy Fru Foundation, which hosts reading drives and advocates for child education, safety and security.  

"Since the pandemic, we haven't been able to move around much. Throughout the lockdown, it was strictly online. We were doing reading drives to try and get people [to interact] with the page to spread this culture of reading while in lockdown, by getting people's children to read, their grandparents to read through all these fun things you can do as a family which involve literacy," Fru said. 

Fru became Africa's youngest published author after writing her first book at the tender age of seven. She has published three more books, with the latest, Tim's Answer, hitting the shelves in 2019.

ALSO READ | The future I dream of: 7 young authors reflect on Youth Day

"Tim's Answer focuses on providing children with guidance on how to pick their role models by giving them a sense that not all good things come from the west and that there are good and authentic things that can be found all around you," she told News24. 

Fru also has a number of awards under her belt, including the African Child Award for Creative Writing and Social Impact, awarded to her by the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Centre and World Youth Forum's Most Influential and Promising Young Person in Africa and the Arab world.

Fru's passion for advocacy started once she published her first book. 

She added:

I had never been exposed to so many vibrant people and vibrant information in my life. I was eight years old when I first published the book, so I was still quite young, and as I was starting to do media interviews and talks, especially in schools, there was a statistic that I noticed that over 50% of children my age - I was eight at the time - could not read or write. And that stuck with me because there I was, publishing a book and others my age could not read or write a book of their own. That's what really sparked my interest.

Next, Fru has her eyes set on publishing a compilation of short stories and a novel she wrote during the lockdown.

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