2016-05-13 12.52.23-Nomu
For the second year, FunDza brought False Bay College students involved in the Reading for Enjoyment Campaign to the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF). Last year we were accompanied by 15 eager and ready-to-learn students from the Fish Hoek Campus. This year on – Friday the 13th (no less) May – it was an honour to welcome 30 students and their lecturers from both the Fish Hoek and Khayelitsha campuses.

Each student attended three sessions. The group of thirty students plus the lecturers from both colleges were split up and we had tickets for some riveting and thought-provoking talks. Here are some details about some of the sessions including feedback from students. We love their honesty and reflections on the day:

The Magic of Story – Samantha Page chaired this session with storytellers Kapilolo Mahongo (Manyeka Arts Trust), Nancy Richards (Being a Woman in Cape Town), and Sindiwe Magona (Chasing the Tails of My Father’s Cattle) about how writing and sharing our own stories reveals our true selves and brings us closer to others. An event that will inspire young storytellers.

The thing is we all tell stories through our daily lives, how we express ourselves, be it through the way we dress, music, art, drama etc, THIS IS OUR STORY. I am so inspired to tell my story through my photography. I always thought story telling was just through writing, but they made me realize that you can decide how you tell your story, what matters is that you tell your story and share it with others. ~ Gary Speelman

Just Imagine – With literary journalist Karabo Kgoleng in the chair, Bontle Senne (Powers of the Knife), Nakhane Touré (Piggy Boy’s Blues) and Rosie Rowell (Almost Grace) share how imagination frees the mind and lets in empathy, creativity and vision.

“Vision. How it is applied during the creation of a writer’s “art”… It made me think about Animal Farm by George Orwell.  In it he writes about pigs controlling the farmyard and horses etc. and according to the writer the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. What if I was just a book about greedy pigs taking over a farm? To which I thought to myself… at what point during the creation of their “art “does an “artist” decide. “No… this will cause trouble… someone might interpret it wrong and cause harm to the universe…” ~ Oscar

ecard for lit fest

Paying tribute to Sindiwe Magona – Sindiwe Magona (Chasing the Tails of My Father’s Cattle) started work as a home help; now she one of Africa’s most prolific authors, with multiple degrees and awards under her belt. Elinor Sisulu (The Puku Children’s Literature Foundation) shares this remarkable woman’s inspiring story.

“The experience was really amazing and insightful.  What I liked the most was the session with Sindiwe Magona, her view on matters in the world was really mind blowing.   She was positive, influential and real, and I can’t wait to read her books to get to know her a little better.  Sindiwe said that through reading and writing, you reflect and it helps you get to know who you really are.  I learnt that there’s a lot more to writing books than I thought.   All the emotions, research and time put in to make ti a success and something for the author to be proud of and the message they want to convey across to the reader.”~ Michade Cornelius

Have you got a reading habit? – Reading sends you to distant lands, makes you smarter and lets you escape. Samantha Page asks children’s and young adults’ authors Dianne Case (The Rules) and Sicelo Kula (Taking Chances) when they started reading, why they love it and how it has directed their careers.

“The second session was reading habits where they talk about what you read. They said reading starts from reading newspapers and magazines and you start to do the reviews about what you have read.  This was a nice session because it was held in the Protea Hotel and it was nice and warm.” ~ Bomkazi

Contemporary issues in fiction – SAfm’s Nancy Richards asks Nthikeng Mohlele (Pleasure), Patrick Flanery (I Am No One) and Rehana Rossouw (What Will People Say?) how their work is influenced by the real world, and what challenges they face in writing realistic fiction.

“All the events definitely broadened my horizon in the sense that my perception on some topics have changed, and through the sharing of information others views and wisdom. I have learnt and gained a lot of knowledge during the entire time of me being at the festival I felt like a sponge simply absorbing what others had to share. It was interesting to listen to, the in which writers think and the way in which they find inspiration. Many discussions were held, mainly around students and how books could be used to awake their train of thought and imagination and how it could assist them in their other parts of their lives. Some topics were more intense than others, such as the state of our country and what we could do, or how we could change it through books, and sharing everyday south African people’s stories. Witnessing how people really value the work of the writers and the impact of their work was truly inspiring.” ~ Codey

Things we talk about – Writer and comedian Khaya Dlanga (To Quote Myself) and media communications specialist and columnist Onkgopotse JJ Tabane (Let’s Talk Frankly) mull over the topics that grab their attention, how they write about them and the books they’ve published.

“This session stood out to me, not that the others were bad or anything, but the way they chaired the session made me really think about how to reach to the things going on in the world and mostly the racial issues and shine the light on racism. We really need to find a way to make all the different races talk and they gave us a few ideas on ways to start meaningful conversations among different races and that really got me thinking that we need to stop being easily offended by small things…Things that would have not mattered if they were said by someone who’s the same race as me.” ~ Alunga

Franschhoek, we hope to see you next year and have our thoughts and perceptions broadened. Thank you to False Bay College for your continued dedication to the Reading for Enjoyment campaign and for providing transport for learners on the day. Thank you also to NOMU for providing hot chocolate in the goodie bags.