Author, freedom fighter and poet Mteto Mzongwana is inviting young aspiring writers to join him in a writer’s workshop that he is conducting at the Nyanga Arts Development Centre (NADC).
The creative writer from Nyanga encourages the current generations to have the courage to write about anything and everything.
Having penned a novel, Mom’s Text as well as a poetry anthology My Music, My Love, he knows it takes courage to write and runs the after school programme at the NADC where he teaches young people acting, drama, writing skills and poetry.
“For this community of Nyanga to prosper, a lot of factors have to be nurtured from a young age. Writing stories is one of them. But they must love education first. If they can embrace education, all is well. But I was to instil in them the power to write and see the stories around them. I want to revive the spirit of writing,” said the founding member of the NADC.
Many years ago he started a small library called Uthango Lotyebiselwano, which was the precursor to Nyanga library, he told Vukani.
“It was during the dark days of apartheid and Nyanga had no library. I had to do something and established Uthango lotyebiselwano at a garage where people got books. There was a guy who used to supply me with books. The government was then forced to build something for us. But even then, my aim was to see a reading Nyanga,” he said.
But, he said, he was not happy with the kind of books that are on the shelves of the library and that it needed to be updated with new books, especially from young writers and with the history of Nyanga.
“Those who want to write about their history, background or anything are welcomed. I want young people to have the values that we have. I am here to guide and mentor them. I want to see their stories in books like mine,” he added.
He also wants newspapers to start running his stories.
“I really encourage children to cultivate a culture of reading books, any book for that matter. They should read even outside the confines of the school curriculum. That will lead them to acquire a greater knowledge. That knowledge will see to it that crime is not a right thing,” he said.