One hundred and seventy-seven high school pupils from five Northern Cape districts have gathered at Flamingo Primary School in Kimberley for the third annual creative writing workshop.
The five-day workshop, which started on Monday, is sponsored by the Northern Cape department of sport, arts and culture.
Spokesperson for the department Vaughn Settley said the workshop was aimed at sharpening pupils’ writing skills in poetry and short stories.
“This year pupils have also been exposed to skills on writing for newspapers and acquiring creative knowledge as cartoonists,” said Settley
“The workshop was started with the Annual Northern Cape Writers’ Festival in 2009, and has seen some of the country’s celebrated writers including Don Mattera, Credo Mutwa, Ahmed Kathrada and Marita van der Vyer embracing the occasion,” said Settley.
Since its inception, the workshop has produced three books; Tender Voices Volumes 1 and 2, one as well as There is a Place.
“The books contain short stories and poems written by pupils from various parts of the Northern Cape.
“They have been published and are now being distributed to all community libraries across the province,” he said.
The workshop is facilitated by prominent writers and poets such as Vonani Bila, Manichand Beharilal, Primrose Mrwebi, and Mhlobo Jadezweni with the inclusion of local poet, writer and journalist Sabata-Mpho Mokae and cartoonist Given Peterson.
Mokae said workshops like these served as a catalyst in promoting the culture of learning and creativity among young people.
“We are living in an exciting era where lot of things are happening and stories need to be told. We need to nurture writers and artists from a young age so that they are able to tell these stories,” Mokae said.
Mantoa Khuduga could not contain her excitement at getting an opportunity to attend the workshop: “You can’t get such training for free. For me it is a privilege and a dream come true.”
source: The New Age