Apart from being a proud Mamelodi Sundowns fan, writing about the club’s biggest achievements and having no variations, Naledi Mafora wanted to teach her 5 year old son some important life lessons. The children’s book titled ‘Thee African PSL Champions’ aims at teaching the little ones that nothing else but the sky is the limit.
As a young 11 year old girl who entered many writing competitions and eventually won one for her essay (which sent her on the first flight to Durban) her passion for writing grew. As a Sundowns fanatic, the team’s first CAF win sparked the idea to write the book. The teams’ continuous wins prompted her to continue writing and hoping that one day it will be converted to a children’s book.
After dropping out from Tshwane North College due to financial constraints, her journey as an entrepreneur began. “I love to read and I want my son and other children to grow some knowledge from the piece I wrote and those that I’m yet to write,” she said.
Staying true and loyal to her hometown; Mamelodi – where she spent almost her entire life, she saw the way society has made soccer a part of its everyday life and almost becoming a culture to many. Hence, the need to teach kids from a young age to appreciate what has become the South African way of life.
“I believe if kids will read about a local team that they are familiar with, they will pay attention to every detail. Soccer has become a culture in our society which is befitting to emphasise literacy through it,” said Naledi.
Unfortunately the costs that are included in publishing a book in this tight economy are delaying its official launch. The avid writer has been promoting her book on radio stations with hopes that she will land a publishing deal, since she’s realized that finding a sponsor on her own is proving to be a major obstacle.
The many failed attempts which came with responses such as ‘sorry your script is out of our content’ lead her to self-publish her book which was a costly but necessary decision. Now the challenge of getting a publisher that will assist in making copies enough to hit bookshelves and eventually onto school libraries is one she is currently faced with.
Obstacles aside, the author is overwhelmed by the reception from people who have had a glimpse of her book. Her target audience also gave her a heartwarming reaction and was amazed by their knowledge of local football. ‘The demand is high!’ she exclaimed.
Not only is Naledi a talented writer; her other passion lies in the development of children by laying a foundation of literacy through books and various educational activities. She intends to achieve this by starting a book club in the near future. “We must build a reading culture in our society. Schools must have operating libraries and instill the culture of reading from an early age.”
Currently she is working on an EPWP programme ‘litter picking’ as one of the many things she is busy with as an entrepreneur. Her quest to find a sponsor and secure a publishing deal is the main focus. Crowd funding is something she is considering and believes it will assist in getting the necessary people on board.
You can find her on Twitter: @Nay_M16 and contact her via eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org