FunDza warmly welcomes two new interns to the team: Refilwe Mofokeng and Lukhanyo Matshebelele. We so look forward to having you on board! Now let’s find out a little more about them –

IMG_3166 Refilwe, tell us how you found out about FunDza?
“I found out about FunDza when I was a volunteer tutor at Year Beyond. I was running the FunDza sessions in two schools in different periods of times. I started working for six months in Gugulethu Comprehensive High School and towards the end I worked for six months at Intlanganiso High School. I wanted to come and intern at FunDza because I love making a difference in people’s lives whereby they are encouraged to read while cultivating their talent for writing at the same time. I also wanted to grow as a person, as engaging in new tasks develops a person personally and they become equipped with various things and also its a wonderful way of gaining knowledge.”

Tell us a bit more about yourself?
“I was born in Sterkspruit. My Hometown is in KwaMmei. I went to Fezeka High School where I matriculated in 2011. I passed my matric with Bachelor pass and two distinctions in Languages: Sesotho home language and English first additional Language. I was so happy to pass my matric as it was a proof that hard work pays off. Post matric I did a lot of different things, it was a combination of both studying and working. I studied Journalism and Media Studies at Damelin College Cape Town Campus, I could not complete my studies. Due to lack of funds I had to drop out. Then in 2013 I studied at University of Cape Town, I studied Bachelor of Social Work for almost two years. In 2014 however I had to dropped out due to the fact that I fell ill and was diagnosed with Bipolar Mood Disorder. As much as I was unable to continue my studies on both occasions, my journey of tertiary education did not end as in 2019 I am returning to do my second year at University of South Africa where I will be studying a Bachelor of Social Work.”

Do you enjoy reading?
“I love reading because its opens your mind and expands your neural network as each day you learn different things and also your command in how you speak English grows. I love writing cause it enables you to express yourself and to inspire others, it also promotes knowledge generation.”

Tell us how you see the role of literacy in South Africa.
“Illiteracy contributes to crime as people are not educated enough, and therefore cannot get decent jobs. People are in danger of falling victims to fraudsters because if they are not well informed they can be easily cheated. Illiteracy also contributes to higher rates of unemployment without education and skills people cannot be made to add value in the world of work.”

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
“I spend time writing poetry and listening to music. My favourite music is Kwanele by Ringo Madlingozi. I love that song because it talks about a young girl having to learn to love themselves and to have self respect. Moreover, its a song that talks about the ills of society and how girls fall victims to different things. This song is the one that makes me to be more creative and I admire the fact that each day as a young lady I work hard to be a woman of virtue and to make a difference in my community.”

Thank you, Refilwe! We look forward to getting to know you better in the next couple of months.


IMG_3167 Lukhanyo, how did you hear about FunDza?
“I found out about FunDza on Mxit in 2012. I still remember how I would log on to Mxit just to read stories. FunDza gives young writers a platform to showcase and improve their craft. Furthermore, FunDza promotes reading to teens as a way to battle illiteracy in South Africa. I have joined FunDza to be part of this legacy.”

Where are you from, what’s your background?
“I was born and bred in Cape Town – Phillippi. I attended Zanemfundo Primary School and Vuyiseka Senior Secondary School. After matriculating from Vuyiseka, I went on to study Mathematics at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, for two years. In 2017 I was a volunteer at Year Beyond where I tutored Math and English at Heideveld High School.”

What about reading and writing, do you enjoy it?
“A lot! My love for reading began from a very young age. After I had obtained a Library card when I was doing grade 5, I went to the nearest library every day after school. I started off by reading short stories. By the time I was doing grade 9 I had read most Xhosa novels and English stories. Reading so much triggered my interest in writing, but I had no idea where to begin. That was until I found out that I could actually send a story, essay or a poem to FunDza and they will publish it in their Fanz Writers section. In 2017 my first essay, ‘My Friend’, was published by FunDza. Since then I have written few more essays and stories that have been published by FunDza.”

Tell us how you see the role of literacy in South Africa.
“Illiterate people cannot sign cheques or read contracts and as a result they tend to fall prey to fraudulent activities. Most people who are illiterate are impoverished and have fewer chances of finding jobs that pay well. Some people commit crime to make ends meet, since they are unemployable. Illiteracy is one of the major reasons why South Africa is in the list of countries that have high crime rate.”

What does Lukhanyo do for fun?
“I watch movies, listen to music (dance hall and house) and I love to read – anything that has words!”