Ready, Set, Go!
I come from a family of readers and writers, and so it must be in my blood that I’ve had this need to encourage people to read more. Coincidentally, my son received a letter from my dad a few months ago, about my great grandmother who would wake up every day to write letters to family members all over the world, and to wait for the mailman to deliver a reply from family abroad. And he also added, “And when she wasn’t writing or reading the letters, she would be sitting with a book in her hands”.
My maternal grandmother has published quite a few books,. From the staple cookery book (“Indian Delights”) that every Indian bride in South Africa used to receive (and still do), to the tracing of the Indians in South Africa along their route from India. Not to mention letters exchanged between herself and the late freedom fighter Ahmed Kathrada.
My paternal aunt is a powerful journalist, interviewing the likes of Nelson Mandela, and editing national and digital newspapers, from Mail & Guardian and City Press to Huffington Post. This, coupled with a published book, makes her a writing role model for many.
An uncle of mine has also published a book about his life growing up in Apartheid South Africa and the struggles associated with it, as well as the lessons learnt.
And me? I am anything but a writer. I lack the ability to write seamlessly flowing stories, with descriptions that transport the reader into another world. I distinctly remember my high school English teacher telling me, “You write very oddly, your ideas don’t flow”, so in my goal to inspire kids, parents and families to read more, bear with my haphazard sentences!
But one thing for sure is that I grew up surrounded by books, which developed my love of reading. Every night, my parents would be relaxing with a book before bedtime.
Every odd weekend, we would be at the library, browsing the wooden shelves, searching for the next story to escape into or lifting the flaps of “Spot the Dog”.
Every Sunday, I would run down to the gate to pick up our weekly newspaper and look forward to discussing what’s going on in the world, with my family.
And I can’t agree more with Walt Disney when he says, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”
And so naturally, I started surrounding my son with books and reading material. Seeing his delight, has been my impetus to do the same for other children, and to witness their delight, witness their educational development and witness their growth in imagination.
So join me, listen to me, comment on my stuff, disagree with me, correct me, agree with me and help me on this journey to develop a platform to get kids and parents interested in reading, not just alone, but together, for a brighter, more imaginative future!