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Teen authors lend their voice as ambassadors on new digital platform for writers

BhasweLihle Zilwa. Picture: Supplied

BhasweLihle Zilwa. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 14, 2022

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South African teenage poet Masindi Managa and author BhasweLihle Zilwa are recognised as ambassadors for the new digital platform for writers.

Set to launch in South Africa on July 9, the Alkebulan Authors Platform is a digital house focused on the distinctive voice of Africa told through unique narratives.

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Founder of the Future Global Leaders Club, Zilwa (14), released her book titled “Lihle's Motivational Quotes for Teens” in April, while Managa (18) launched her book titled “Ardour” in 2021.

Commenting on her ambassadorship, Zilwa said: “As teens, we are often just ignored, with our voices not even heard.

“I am happy to be part of this great initiative. It is a space for me to voice out many issues young authors like me face and, most importantly, celebrate and highlight authors across the continent.”

The Grade 9 learner wrote her book to inspire all the young people across the world.

“I dedicate this book to all the teenagers out there trying to make sense of what life is about and to all the young adults who are consistently challenged to be resilient. May you be inspired by these quotes, and may you also take a ride on the shoulders of giants as I have done,” added Zilwa.

For Managa, the goal is to reach a wider audience of young people as her poems tackle many challenges that the youth are facing.

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"The future is digital. It makes sense for authors like myself to have conversations in that space while also connecting with like-minded authors from across the continent,” shares the Limpopo-born star.

Her new book titled “Ardour” is a compilation of poems that tackles many social issues, including bullying, domestic violence, crime, trust and betrayal, and life and death.

In her recent interview with IOL Lifestyle, Managa explained that her book was inspired by the tragic death of Limpopo teenager Lufuno Mavhunga.

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Mavhunga took her own life after she was being publicly bullied allegedly by a fellow learner in April last year.

Though not a victim of abuse herself, the Grade 12 pupil said when she started penning some of the poems featured in her book, she didn’t realise she was writing a book on abuse.

“It happened subconsciously as I was never abused before,” shared the youngster.

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The platform aims to create a literacy forum that will empower African authors and ensure they benefit financially from their craft and skill, making creative writing a viable developmental industry.

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