Independent Online

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Storyteller spreads the power of reading and writing

Storyteller Makhubalo Ikaneng from Mpophomeni, Howick, is committed to helping children from his community with literature classes. Picture: Supplied

Storyteller Makhubalo Ikaneng from Mpophomeni, Howick, is committed to helping children from his community with literature classes. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 2, 2022

Share

Durban - Makhubalo Ikaneng from Mpophomeni, Howick, has been recognised for his literature project to empower young people in his area through the written word.

His Young Authors Book Initiative for children earned him the Time of the Writer Literature Champion 2022 award from the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said the project aimed to promote a reading culture among young people and ensure the youth from his community was literate and had access to books.

“Young writers are forgotten people and writing is a forgotten, even ignored, interest in most schools.

“When you start to explain to them the power of the word to open doors and to express yourself, you see them light up and that, for me, I would say is a special moment ‒ when they get affirmation that their passions matter and they can contribute to knowledge,” said Ikaneng.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said every year the project took 20 pupils from schools in uMngeni Municipality and taught them how to write with the help of authors.

“The pupils write short stories that are compiled into a book and these books are donated to their schools and libraries.

“They have published three books in the last four years and I have worked with 47 pupils thus far,” said Ikaneng.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said he worked with pupils from Grades 8 to 10.

“They are usually 13 to 15 years old and the youngest writer we ever had was 11 years old,” said Ikaneng.

“We primarily stage shows to raise funds for our projects. We have support from local authors, editors and proofreaders who help us mentor and put together an annual book containing short stories by pupils,” said Ikaneng.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said his fondness for literature was inspired by his social nature.

“My love for literature came from a need to connect with people. I love stories of people and hearing different perspectives on life.

“Connecting helps me uplift my spirit. It allows me to learn about people and it gives me an opportunity to express my views.”

He said it was important for the community to believe that everyone could make a difference and that every child growing up in a rural community should know “the sky’s the limit”.

He said getting the recognition had been his biggest inspiration.

“Receiving the award is deeply humbling.

“I did not expect it. I never even thought my work was being watched with such a deep interest,” said Ikaneng.

Apart from his work on YABI, Ikaneng produces documentaries and podcasts, hosts events and does voice-overs for various media projects.

The Independent on Saturday

Related Topics:

KwaZulu-Natal

Share