New Trends Reporter –
The Free State Department of Education on Thursday (08 November) celebrated this year’s International Children’s Day in style by honouring four child authors from the province.
The four authors, Naledi Moretsi, Zizipho Nyulu, Mzwandile Majenge and Karabo Ranpsho wrote SeTswana and IsiXhosa story books in 2012 when they in grade 3.
Speaking at the function at Simson Sefuthi Hall in Section N, Botshabelo, the Chief Director for District Management in the Department of Education, Mosoeu Mokgobo, underscored the importance of nurturing writing talent in children at a tender age.
“Today we are celebrating International Children’s Day by recognizing learners who wrote story books while they were in grade 3. As the Department of Education we are encouraging other learners to develop an interest in writing and reading books. This event is the first of its kind and we hope to make it annual,” Mokgobo said.
According to the Chief Director for District Management, it was pleasing to note that the child authors wrote story books in their mother languages, something that he said should be encouraged.
“It is encouraging to note that the four child authors that we have today wrote in the vernacular and this is something that principals should encourage. We have support structures in the form of reading clubs especially in libraries. Most of our teachers are equipped to ensure the success of these clubs.”
One of the child authors, Mzwandile Majenge, wrote a story book in IsiXhosa about a leopard.
“I decided to write about a leopard because it is my favourite animal. In the story I was describing the beautiful colours of the leopard skin and how fast it can run,” said the 14 year Grade 9 learner, who interestingly hopes to become an engineer when he finishes school.
Another learner, Zizipho Nyulu, who is now 16 years old and doing grade 9 at Navalsig High School in Bloemfontein, said she was inspired by nature to write the book.
“I wrote a book about birds. Before I came to Bloemfontein, I was staying with my grandmother in the rural areas and I would see all types of birds in the trees near our house so I decided to write a story describing how beautiful and different they looked,” said Nyulu.
Meanwhile, the Chief Director for District Management handed out story books to 63 primary schools from across the province as a way of encouraging learners to read.
While the International Children’s Day is celebrated on different days in different countries across the globe, the Universal Children’s Day is held on 20 November worldwide.