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The winner of the 2014 @City_Press Tafelburg Nonfiction Award is Vashthi Nepaul! #openbook2014 @OpenBookFest fb.me/3fYW6ZeJ3

Shaka Sisulu: The Magic of Story Time Lasts Forever

BecomingBy Shaka Sisulu for The Times

I love stories. I love storybooks. I still remember some of my childhood stories. I can’t even say I had a favourite story – I just loved story time. Even when I was older, I made sure I had my story time.

My mother made sure I was exposed to books. When I was 11, I discovered the most interesting library. It was in an ANC camp for MK soldiers in Angola, just outside Luanda.

Soldiers stayed there; they taught us how to use guns. There was one room that was always kept locked. But at one stage the room was opened. And when we finally got inside it was full of books – books that had been donated by countries like Sweden, Russia and China – books in many different languages. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was in a mini-heaven. The guy who opened the room said: “Do you like books? You can take as many as you like.” I still to this day have some of those books.

My writing is an observation of what is happening. In life we are all in pursuit of something – I am in pursuit of interesting experiences. You take notice of the interesting stories, things that make you laugh, that are sad, that are poignant, that have a message.

My parents gave me one of their old typewriters. It was a travel typewriter, with a case, and I carried it around. One day I put it down and started to use it; I started writing short stories. I would read stories and then make up different endings for them.

These books were developed in conjunction with the Little Hands Trust and the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in Africa.

The value of this donation is about R300000.

  • Becoming is published by Pan Macmillan

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