“As a little girl, my love for reading and storytelling inspired me to write this book,” says Nosipho Tshabalala. She has recently published a book titled: I want to touch the rainbow.
The story is about a little girl named Fiona, who will stop at nothing to touch the rainbow.
“The book will inspire not only a girl child but even the boy child to dream big and to know that the sky is not the limit. They must always believe in themselves and dream big,” says Tshabalala.
The 30-year-old author was raised in Newcastle, Kwazulu-Natal. “My mom had to work for me and my younger brother, which is why I ended up being raised by my late maternal grandmother's sister. As a child I enjoyed reading but sadly my mom and grandmother couldn't buy me books.
“And when I discovered a local library it was like finding a place to explore, a treasure trove and that is when I realised that I would one day become a writer,” she says.
After completing her high school, Tshabalala did a Diploma in Media and Journalism but later she says she realised that what she wanted to further her studies and then did a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Science at Unisa, which was followed by an Honours Degree in Media Studies. Tshabalala describes herself as “a bookaholic and I somehow always find time to balance my reading addiction with my full time job and freelance writing."
Tshabalala says during this Women’s month she has been busy writing stories which address the challenges faced by women. She says these stories will inspire other women to change their lives and prove that it is possible for one person with a big idea to change the world.
“I am currently writing a collection of short stories and a most of them are about women and their sufferings in the hands of those who are supposed to love, care and protect them,” she says.
Her advice to other upcoming young women writers is that they should never give up “because great things take time, keep pushing and chasing your dreams, no matter the environment you might find yourself in always set goals for yourself and make sure you achieve them, no matter how long it takes”.
Tshabalala says that through her children’s books, she wants to provide culturally sensitive and educational stories for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
“Our black society is known for its lack of reading culture. I hope this book and other children book stories I write will address this challenge and inspire children to read books which talk about issues they are familiar with.”
This book is targeted at children between the ages of 4 and 8.
“This is a very funny and adventurous story told by using the personification of animals which will make every child laugh and maybe fall in love with the rainbow and its beautiful and bright colours. It will also make every child learn a lot of lessons from the main character Fiona,” Tshabalala says.
According to Tshabalala it was not a walk in the park completing her book. She says there were so many setbacks, one of which was having a complete book with no publishing contract and no money to self-publish the book.
“I couldn't find a South African publisher who was willing to take a chance and publish my book. Every South African institution I submitted to rejected my work because it did not fit their brand. After discovering that I could self-publish on Amazon.com, I didn’t waste time,’ Tshabalala says.
Currently this book is available on amazon.com and Kobo.com. The hardcopy will be available at the end of August.