Too brainy for his tender age

GENIUS: Oratile Makwakwa. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 19/08/08. © Sowetan.
GENIUS: Oratile Makwakwa. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 19/08/08. © Sowetan.

Katlego Moeng

Katlego Moeng

Soweto is home to a budding Einstein, a two-year-old who can write, recite the months of the year and recognise popular personalities.

Oratile Makwakwa will turn three in October, but he can already write the numbers from one to 60 in order and can recite all the months of the year.

"We spotted his gift about three months ago," says his proud mom, Barati Makwakwa.

His grandmother, Julia Perreira, was at home when Sowetan visited the pint-sized whizz.

"We are so proud of him," she gushed.

"He recognises Mandela, President Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma.

"He knows where Gauteng is on the map and tells you the weather and temperature for the next day."

His grandmother told us that he loved attention and, true to form, little Makwakwa smiled at the camera and could not wait to show us what he could do.

Tsholofelo Rakokane, an aunt who encourages his intellectual development, helps him identify personalities and improves his writing, says he loves paging through newspapers and watching news on TV.

When he is summoned while watching the events of the day the precocious youngster has no trouble telling adults: "Wait, I'm still watching the news."

Melanie Hartgill, an educational psychologist with Kids On The Go', was surprised when told of Makwakwa's achievements.

"What he is showing is incredibly unusual. For his age, it is highly unexpected."

She said the tot could "potentially be a (genius)," but sounded a note of caution for his family.

"His parents have to handle him very carefully," she warned. "They should not push him too hard."

lView a video of Oratile Makwakwa parading his skills at