The National Arts Council funded FunDza’s ‘Me With You’ online writing workshops in June this year – a first for FunDza and a very rewarding experience for both the participants and the facilitators. You can read more about the workshop here.
Out of the three workshop groups, one mentee writer was chosen from each group to be mentored by one of FunDza’s professional writing mentors. The mentors worked intensively with their mentees on their short stories that were eventually published on FunDza’s mobi site. It was an inspiring process for both mentor and mentee.
Meet the Dynamic Duos!
Njabulo is 23 and lives in KZN. He is studying scriptwriting and working on a poetry anthology. In his own words he “spends most of his time reading psychology books, and motivational books, watching movies and complaining about how bad they are (or being inspired by how good they are,) and trying to convert his weird experiences into great stories and poems”.
Njabulo said of being mentored by Sifiso, “The experience for me was one of the most educational experiences I’ve had ever since I started writing … the mentorship gave me the experience of professionals (Fundza team) believing in me. It wasn’t a competition, it wasn’t a course, it was “Hey, we know you can do this, so do it. And I can never express my gratitude enough.”
Sifiso Mzobe lives in Umlazi, KZN. He is an award-winning author who has written many short stories and mentored FunDza writers for many years now.
Njabulo’s story was called Killer Twin, and as the title suggests was a gritty crime story set in KZN. Read it here .
Readers loved it as was clear from the many comments it received:
“Wow this book deserves to be a movie, big up to the author”
Zukisani is from the Eastern Cape but currently lives in Cape Town where he works as a theatre facilitator. His poetry has been published in, The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology, Prufrock Magazine and the online literary journal Eunoia Review.
Zukisani wrote about writing his first short story: “Despite the anxiety it’s fully been worth it, it exposed my weaknesses as a writer to me but it also brought into full view my strengths. Since the story got published I’ve been regularly (maybe obsessively) reading the comments. It gives me pure bliss to see people respond to the work, to see people agree or disagree with the actions of the characters, how they relate to the events.”
Marche Arends is the Deputy Content Manager at FunDza and leads the FunDza Fanz editing team as well as mentoring young writers and facilitating writing workshops.
Smouldering in the township is a hard-hitting story about a boy who witnesses mob justice in his community and the effects it has on his family. Read the story here.
Readers related to the story and felt strongly about the theme:
“Mob justice is never the answer”
“It is a beautiful story with a lot to learn”
“You should definitely read this book”
Lungile is doing her Honours in Sociology at UJ. She says she is “slowly finding my voice and place in the world. I waltz into each moment with a smile on my face. I believe there are a million things in the world I am yet to learn, person to meet and stories to uncover.”
Ros Haden is the Content Manager at FunDza, a writing mentor, and an author.
Lungile’s story is called Meet me at the Rock and follows the story of two Matric girls as they face gender-based-violence in their relationships and tackle it head on. Read story here.
Lungile wrote of the reader feedback: “Honestly, I hardly expected the feedback it received from the readers, their reactions and comments were inspiring. If I could, I would re-live the experience a thousand times.”
Readers related to the story and had the following to say:
“The story is based in what is happening today in this world It a nyc story I wish young gals can read it and understand it”
“Wow this is interesting lots of education i wouldn’t be bored to read it everyday thanx a lot”
FunDza is delighted that our mentees are not stopping! Njabulo has produced another story called Cursed? which is being published on Friday 30th November, and both Lungile and Zukisani are working on their next stories!
Watch this space!