Lukhanyo Matshebelele, author of Go For It!

“Go For It!” – this is the title of the first short story to be published in FunDza’s ‘After School Action Series’, a special project funded through the Western Cape After School Innovation Fund. The series of five short stories aims to inspire young people to get involved in after school programmes through which they can grow in confidence, discover their passions, broaden their horizons… and have some fun too!

Go For It! was written by Lukhanyo Matshebelele, one of FunDza’s current interns. This is the first story in the After School Action Series and Lukhanyo’s second mentored story that has been published on – This is the second mentored story that has been published on – find it here. He was mentored by Nicole Levin, who has written a number of professional stories for FunDza (see her profile here).

It was no small task to write a short story around this theme that was exciting, authentic and relatable. Here’s what Lukhanyo said about the process: “I chose to write about two different afterschool programmes (soccer and academics) and the challenge was to show how these programmes are both important. I wanted to do away with some parents’ belief that playing sport in school is a waste of time. In sport, learners get to exercise and exercise improves a leaner’s memory and cognitive performance. Thanks to Nicole, without her mentorship I’d still be working on Go For It!”

Judging from readers’ comments Lukhanyo lived up to the challenge and really succeeded in writing a story that readers enjoyed and related to:

Here are just a few of the many comments:

Wow wow wow my heart is leaping also – Mei

I love this …! – Mystiquei

Such a beautiful story. Thanks author, keep em coming – Zondeewhere

The questions at the end of each story chapter of Go For It! engaged readers with the struggles of the main character, Analo, and asked them to reflect on how her story relates to their own lives. Analo’s struggle to try to live up to her parents’ dream of her becoming a doctor, rather than following her own passion and dream, is a common experience for learners as many reader comments reveal. Here are just two examples:

Let the child do what she’s passionate about. Not all of us can be doctors, scientists or engineers. Not because we are stupid but because we don’t like science but other things – Mtibza eM

This story is touching me in so many ways. I am a good young producer and by doing that i can meet so many of my needs and i always feel happy and relieved when doing beats, my heart is always composing melodies and i make them live. But my family my parents disapprove it they see me as someone who’s going to get straight A’s – La_Weezy

Lukhanyo cleverly wove in both an academic after-school programme as well as a sporting programme (soccer – Analo’s newfound passion!) into his story. We hope that the story helps to develop an awareness of after school programmes, and how they can play vital roles in young people’s lives.

The next story to be published in the After School Action Series is written by another FunDza intern Refilwehape Mofokeng. Her story – titled In Search of Me – looks at the value of an after school life coaching programme in giving a young girl the confidence she so sorely lacks. This will be published later in September.