Author Reikantse Manaka
Author Reikantse Manaka

15-year-old Free State teen publishes third book

By LUNGILE MATSUMA Time of article published Feb 27, 2020

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Reikantse Manaka might only be 15 years old, but she is already a prolific writer.

Reikantse, who started writing when she was eight, recently published her third book, A snake in my school bag. Her first two books are collections of short adventure stories for children called High Ten and High Ten Updated.

A snake in my school bag was inspired by an incident that happened at school when a fellow learner discovered a snake in her bag while at assembly.

“When everyone came from the assembly, they saw the snake, and luckily, it was not venomous,” she said excitedly.

The Bloemfontein-based young author said her aim was to make reading more interesting for her peers. Her love for writing started in Grade 2 when her English teacher encouraged her craft. 

“My Grade 2 teachers started encouraging my parents that I should actually write books and compile all my stories,” she said.

Reikanetse said she writes for children aged 12 years and below, and all three books are adventure-based stories inspired by true events in her life with few fictionalised stories to make them appealing.

Reikantse said she wanted to encourage her peers to read because it builds knowledge.

“From a young age, we always hear that education is the key to success, but from my point of view, without the knowledge of reading, you can’t have an education. So the important part would be the reading before education,” Reikantse said.

Reikantse said writing comes naturally to her, and she usually got spurts of creativity as she went about her day.

“When I feel like something is really interesting, I would jot it down on my laptop,” said Reikantse, a Grade 9 pupil.

Reikantse said she wanted to study medicine after high school.

“I want to be a doctor, but also write at the same time.” 


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