It was a cold weekend for many, but for 11-year-old Stacey Fru and the team of the 2018 Lowveld Book festival in White River, Mpumalanga, there was no time for tea, coffee or even warm blankets. Their weekend started before it was weekend. On Friday the 17th of August, Stacey, Jayne Bauling and other dedicated friends and partners to the festival went to both inspire and motivate learners. Stacey and Jayne visited the Lwaleng Primary School in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, where they taught the children on reading and writing in motivational tones.
In line with the vision of her Foundation, Stacey had the privilege to donate copies of her books to this disadvantaged school. Amongst the many things that The Stacey Fru Foundation focuses on is its “African Book A Child Campaign”. This Campaign sees Stacey donating either her books, or books by other African Authors on, or about Africa, to individuals, schools, communities and other institutions. It was an honor for Stacey to interact with her peers and to offer them her books as a tool of inspiration.
On Saturday the 18th, Stacey had a 45 minutes conversation with author Jayne. Their session was so captivating that the pair ran out of time leaving their attendees puzzled by this 11-year-old’s wit. Jayne prompted and Stacey to discuss her writing, editing and publishing processes of her 3 books namely; Smelly Cats written without her parents’ knowledge when she was only 7, Bob and the Snake written at age 8, and Smelly Cats on Vacation written at age 8, but released in July 2018.
The Lowveld Book Festival ended on the 19th of August. This year visitors were hosted by a variety of authors including Stacey who is the youngest Multiple Awards winning author of Chapter Books in the continent, if not the world, Tony Park, Dudu Busani-Dube, Mercy Dube, Tracy Going, Amy Heydenrych, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, Mike Mills, Gus Mills, Maruping Phepheng, James Styan, Richard Steyn, Fred Khumalo, Rehana Rossouw, Steven Sidley, Kate Sidley, Ronnie Kasrils, Dr. Gerrit Haarhoff, Prof. Peter Delius, Peter Harris, Menzi Mkhonza, Sandy and Tony Ferrar, Sahm Venter, Vimla Naidoo, Dr, Salomon Joubert, Walter Thornhill, Adam Cruise and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. Facilitators included; Adam Cruise, Nicky Manson, Jayne Bauling, Bobo Lukhele and Alison Lowry.
The programme included poetry, workshops, kids’ corner, story-time for youngsters, panel discussions, historical Lowveld literature, nature lovers’ presentations, interviews with authors, youth literature, a book club segment, a cooking demonstration, a locally written and produced movie as well as the South African Music Show put on by the CMDA which included well-known songs by some of our best loved local musicians.
Authors sold and autographed their publications. The Lowveld Book Festival is an annual multi-cultural event that encourages a love of reading and acknowledges the role played by writers and poets in society.
Article by Victotine Mbong Shu
Victorine is in education and training since 2002. She is the CEO of Profounder Intelligence Management Services, Publisher, Editor, Researcher, Transformational Speaker, Mentor, Material Developer, Facilitator, Assessor, Moderator and TV Talk Show Host at Children Television South Africa (CTVSA). She is the owner of Profound Conference Centre in Bramley-JHB. She and Dr. Fru are raising 4 bubbly children, including Africa’s youngest multiple award-winning author of chapter books, Stacey Fru. Victorine is a respectable Involved Parenting Conversationalist with a Master’s Degree in Communications. She is a BrandSA Ambassador and Awards Winning Author of the following books:
- ‘Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting,’
- ‘Trapped in our shadows,’
- ‘Proven habits for financial freedom,’
- ‘Not too late: Bring Back Involved Parenting.’