When Sanele Nkompela and his colleagues were given quarantine leave last year, instead of using the time to relax, he wrote a book called Quarantales – essential short stories.
The 36-year-old who works as a clerk for ward councillor, Monde Nqulwana, in Site B said he was on leave was from March until August last year and he spent the six months researching and writing his book.
The stories contained therein, he describes as educational and thought-provoking – and about the pandemic, of course.
There is also a story in the book which is set in China at Wuhan city where the first case of coronavirus was reported.
Asked about this story, he said he had done a lot of research and interacted with the China Embassy to verify some of his information, to ensure that it was accurate.
“This book explores all things related to Covid-19,“ he told Vukani.
“I have a story of a young lady who could not go and see her dying mother because her employers refused to grant her leave – and sadly her mother passed away.
“There are a number of people across the country who found themselves in similar situations. I have also looked at how people behaved during period and the interactions between government and people,” he said.
Mr Nkompela believes that stories reveal truths about the world and through stories, people see that one way or another they share the same life experiences.
He said he started writing his first book, Outbound, in 2005, bringing the total number he has written, to three.
However, he said, he has only managed to sell a few copies of his books and he ended up giving many of them away for free so that could be read. But he knows that many among those who were given books for free, will not read them, even though reading helps develop one’s vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
Funding, however, remained an even bigger challenge and he told Vukani that he used his salary to cover the cost of producing his latest book.
Since the release of Quarantales, he said, he has already received feedback from some people who have read it.