This past Friday, 1 February 2019, I had the honour of performing the best part of my duty as Nali’Bali’s World Read Aloud Day ambassador. I read to 200 children at the Sandton Library – I think that’s my biggest group yet! It was also my first time reading in isiZulu in public and I let the audience know. I shared with them that even though this is my first time, I am going to try my very best and that is how we all get better at reading and learning – it is always important to try. And so I tried and I did well and we were all in the moment together, reading and playing and clapping and laughing. Honestly, I am grateful for each and every opportunity to do this work. I love that even when I am nervous, it all melts away as I get into the telling of the story and together with the children, we all reflect and imagine and dream and learn something new. Here is an eNCA interview I had about the importance of reading aloud:
Thank you to the Nali’Bali team, what an honour and pleasure to work with you all!
The Great Cake Contest is a sweet little story about a little boy who loves cake and tries to bake the best cake for the contest, but he and all his friends have the same ideas! You can read more about it and download it for free:here.
Last year on 27 October 2018, I had the honour of being invited by Book Dash to contribute to the amazing work that they do for children’s literacy by volunteering my time to create a brand new storybook. It’s one of the coolest things I have ever done!
Book Dash organised us into 9 teams, each with a writer (me), illustrator (Nompumelelo Mduli), designer (Amanda van der Walt) and an editor (Anna Stroud). We spent a good 12 hours creating this lovely piece of work. It was so much fun. I really admire the efficiency of the organisers – they knew exactly how long each page and illustration should take in order for us to all be on time.
I got to meet new people who are all passionate about children’s literacy, like Aisha and we had a conversation about the importance of books and representation for little readers.
I’m grateful that I continue to be able to live a life in which I use my mind, body and spirit in collaboration with others and contribute good things to the world. I hope you enjoy our story! And just like that, I am the author of two children’s books! My first one is this piece of my heart: Mpumi’s Magic Beads.
Thank you, Book Dash for inviting me to be part of your brilliant work!
It is my immense honour and privilege to accept the appointment as UNICEF South Africa’s Volunteers Advocate. This means that I’ll be working with the organisation to establish some volunteer programmes in service of the children in our communities; to come together and do what we can to make their childhoods safer, healthier and more joyful. I’m really excited to make my contribution to this amazing cause. You can read more about it here.
November is my birthday month! So, you’re welcome to gift me with your presence at Book Circle Capital in Melville, Johannesburg on Saturday, 24 November 2018. We will even be doing arts and crafts at the end of the session, which is fun for everyone!
This year, I began a journey into a feminist leadership experience with the Zanele Mbeki Fellowship. First Lady Zanele Mbeki has established the collective as a way of contributing to the continuation of feminist leadership in South Africa – an undertaking that I respect deeply. Anyone who knows me, knows that all of my academic work means that I end up thinking and working alone for long stretches unless absolutely necessary, so I accepted the invitation to apply as an opportunity for a change; a challenge to become part of a collective and to think and work along with people who have a similar outlook on the gendered personal and political life of South Africa. Our first module in July was focused on the self and gave us room to prepare for the journey ahead as sisters on a mission of collective feminist self-realisation. Our second module in October focused on feminism. We have been privileged enough to learn from Mrs Zanele Mbeki, Bunie Sexwale, Professor Patricia McFadden, Lebohang Pheko and many more valuable educators. So, far it is an enjoyable journey that has also been deeply challenging to my usual way of being in the world. I am grateful for the opportunity and excited for the many lessons that this journey promises.
Thank you to the Zanele Mbeki Fellowship for selecting me!
Happy National Book Week everybody! The South African Book Fair will be held on 7 – 9 September 2018 in Newtown. I will be facilitating and participating in some sessions. I look forward to seeing you!
Come join us on Saturday, 8 September at the beautiful Nirox Sculpture Park in Krugersdorp for a family outing full of stories, music, kiddies yoga and more fun activities with special guest, DJ Willy Wow from the United States! I will be there reading Mpumi’s Magic Beads. You can buy your tickets: here.
In case you missed it, I had the opportunity to be on this awesome talk show last week with amazing presenters Pabi Moloi, Nina Hastie, Kuli Roberts and Dr Musa Mthombeni. I had so much fun with them. You can watch it below.