Nofundile Mayathula-Memani of Gugulethu published her first book, Ukuzenza Akufani Nokwenziwa, in 2013 when she was 80. She writes in Xhosa as she says she wants to help preserve the language. Picture: David Ritchie
Cape Town - Nofundile Mayathula-Memani is not your average Gugulethu gogo.

She wrote her first book when she was 80, and now, four years later, she is writing her fifth. In her younger days, she trained to be a nurse but found that her passion was in writing. It was not until 2013 that she realised her dream of publishing a book.

In 2009 Memani entered a short story competition in which her story was chosen as the best in Xhosa. Part of the prize was a book deal. “I was funded with money to bind and publish my book and it only took me two years to finish the book.

“I was so happy when my story was chosen, I couldn’t believe it because there were so many people who entered the competition from across the country,” said Memani

“My first book is Ukuzenza Akufani Nokwenziwa (you can’t blame anyone for something you’ve done to yourself), about a man who cheated on his wife and then things got bitter for him, so he went back to her. All my books are written in isiXhosa, because I want to promote the language to young people,” she said.

“I realised I had a passion for writing while I was in high school, where my language teachers used to use my stories and essays as an example in class. In 2010 my daughter bought me a laptop which made my life easier.

“It is so nice to see my first book in local libraries and I am looking forward on finishing the fifth: Umthathi Uyawuzala Umlotha (a quality person can give birth to a useless child).”

Cape Argus