Sowing seed for black languages

Children's book author Dimakatso Mookodi hopes her offering will inspire the youth to develop a passion for African languages.
Children's book author Dimakatso Mookodi hopes her offering will inspire the youth to develop a passion for African languages.

To preserve African languages, Dimakatso Mookodi has written a Sotho children's book that she hopes will encourage the youth to use their mother tongue.

The self-published author has sold 300 of the 600 books that were printed.

The book, titled Molemi Ya Bitswang Kahano, was published by Peo Literature.

It is about Aganang, a boy who spends time with his grandfather on the farm learning how to work the land, feed animals and take care of crops.

Mookodi, 38, from Mohlakeng, Randfontein, wrote the book after she realised the youth struggled with African languages.

"I work in advertising. I noticed when I look for fluent African language speakers, I was always referred to the older generation. I then decided to write a children's book in an African language to assist to preserve our heritage," Mookodi said.

The book's focus is to preserve vernacular languages, show their importance and richness for the upcoming generation to have an appreciation of culture.

The book has been translated into six official languages, including Venda, Pedi and Xhosa.

Mookodi is in talks with the department of basic education to have the books made available in schools.

She was raised by her mother and grandmother.

" Even though we were poor at home, we never went to bed hungry.

"My background helped me to become a visionary."

When she grew up, Mookodi wanted to get her family out of poverty.

She is looking forward to writing her second book.

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