Mpume and Ros Haden at the Himeville Arts Festival

Mpume and Ros Haden at the Himeville Arts Festival

FunDza’s ‘Mentoring Young Writers programme’ is something I am particularly proud of. For the last three years we have run this programme, starting in the Western Cape, then Gauteng, and this year in KZN.

Every time we start the programme I feel daunted by the logistics of  it and whether we will get stories that are of a good enough standard to be published as commissioned stories on the FunDza mobi network. Every year I am amazed at the talent of the young writers and proud to publish them. But the best moment by far is the launch of a print anthology of the stories: It Takes Two!.

This is the culmination of the collaboration and it is immensely rewarding and exciting to be able to hand mentees and mentors a copy of the anthology. For the mentees it is the first time they have had a story published in print, and it inspires them, and gives them the confidence to continue writing!

We have just started publishing this year’s work on Mpume Makhaye’s short story, Nkanyezi, was the first to go up.

Mpume is a student at Durban University of Technology and accompanied me to the Himeville Arts Festival where we read her story from our cellphones on the ‘Night of the Storytellers’.  I can’t wait to see Mpume and the other mentees and mentors at the launch of It Takes Two in Durban early next year.