When Ndibulele Sotondoshe and Nandipha Tshabane (Nandi) told me they needed a camera girl for their visit to False Bay College in Fish Hoek, I immediately agreed! Sonja Kruse, who runs the Reading for Enjoyment sessions at False Bay College, had invited Nandi and Ndibulele to be on a panel discussion about reading and writing.
I observed the learners as they walked in: some came just for another talk, and others were quite intrigued. They seemed like they were waiting on a show to take place. I watched as Ndibulele and Nandi took their seats, ready to speak to a room full of youngsters, with hopes of inspiring them. We were accompanied by Simnikiwe Ngcawa, the winner of our “reading for enjoyment” competition, who is also a student at False Bay college.
I was amazed by the reactions of the learners the moment Ndibulele read his poem to them. It was rare, deep, genuine and relatable. I could see they were inspired; the applause was a clear sign of their appreciation to it. I had the privilege of capturing it all on video. I smiled in delight, the written word had the profound power to spark a passion within one’s soul.
When the learners won prizes, a copy of #LoveReading, they were satisfied. Awkwardly they posed for me. My insecurity probably didn’t help – they did not know I was with the FunDza team, nor a young writer too. I was just a camera girl who seemed younger than they were but despite my feeling inferiority, I sat back and admired a room full of so much potential. Potential to be whatever they wanted to be, if they only put in the hard work and effort and we can help them get there, through the power of reading. Reading opens doors and it was a delight to see the learners understanding the importance of reading for enjoyment.
I do believe they came into the classroom expecting a lecture, but left completely inspired. I know I was.