Mothers are often described as the backbone of their families, often making numerous sacrifices to ensure that their children do not go to bed hungry.
So says Loyiso Maurice Mgqatsa, a budding author from Khayelitsha, when asked to describe his latest book called Mama Ndiyabulela, which acknowledges and praises mothers for the hard work they put into raising their children and looking after their homes.
The 33-year-old, who works as a cleaner, noted that some mothers have been abandoned by their husbands, forcing them to raise children on their own.
He said he wrote the book from his own life experiences as he felt obliged to highlight the role which mothers play in building and keeping families together.
Mr Mgqatsa condeded, however, that words could never fully describe the work being done by mothers and strongly believes that they need to be constantly reminded that they are appreciated.
Asked about the challenges involved in writing his book, he said, he had battled to find appropriate words to relay his message.
He told Vukani that he started working on the book at the beginning of November last year and finished it towards the end of December. He added that many publishing houses had refused to work with him, forcing him to self-publish his work. Added challenges, he said, were a lack of resources and funding.
He said he started writing in 2002, but only managed to publish his first book in 2008.
Mr Mgqatsa said he writes his books only in isiXhosa as he wants Xhosa-speaking people to read Xhosa books.
He believes that in order to ensure that the language does not fade away it needs its own people to safeguard it and promote it – and this includes authors writing in their mother tongues.
He told Vukani he has written five books up to now and his goal is to reach 20.
“I have sacrificed a lot of things to ensure that I finish this book. I would come from work tired and have to cook and clean the house and after finishing the house chores around 9pm, I would start writing and I would stop at 2am and at 5am I need to wake up and prepare to go to work. I appeal to the public to support budding authors,” he said.
Mr Mgqatsa hopes that the national Department of Basic Education will include one of his books into the curriculum.
He said while his previous books had not done well in terms of sales, his latest book is doing much better.