When the organisers of the Jozi Books and Blogs Fair contacted me to be part of their event in Lenasia, I knew I could not refuse it. This is despite the fact that it was scheduled in the middle of a crazy election period, I could not pass on such a fantastic idea of rekindling the love of books, reading and writing in our community. The event took place on July 31 at the Alpha primary school in Lenasia and ticket sales went towards the school. I opted to be part of a writing workshop for teenagers because I felt that writing, as a hobby more than just for school, is truly harnessed at a young age. My contribution to the workshop was how teenagers could tap into their passion for writing and get started. I obviously drew a lot from my experience, having started writing (albeit badly) and being published as a teen.
In the run up to the event the inimitable Zaheera Bham-Ismail invited me to feature on her show iTrend on ITV to talk about writing/books and a bit about myself. I am a huge fan of Zaheera who I describe as one of those people who don’t make you give up on humanity. My interview is about 20 minutes into the show and you can watch it here:
My wonderful friend (and former flatmate) Hasina Gori from SABC television news came to the event to cover it for the SABC and interviewed me- among others- about the event. For me, the Jozi Books and Blogs fair was a really important event to make reading cool again. You can watch Hasina’s package on the event here:
My preferred choice of workshops and public speaking is informality. I hate listening to people who don’t divert from their notes and speak down to the people they are addressing. That is why I could never sit through lectures where lecturers read from the notes in front of them. I am a rebel, I know. I did a brief presentation (which is mildly dull) as a guideline and I kept my part of the session mostly interactive. Below is the PowerPoint presentation for your perusal if you are interested in writing and how to get started!
I was left inspired after seeing how many teenagers still appreciate good writing and how many talented young people are out there. I naively thought that the only book millennials read (I am acting like I am not one), was Facebook. I was proved wrong. I hope that the talent is nurtured so that we can have more people telling our own stories.