Bullying fires seven-year-old boy to turn superhero

Prince Mashawana is taking reading culture to new heights.
Prince Mashawana is taking reading culture to new heights.
Image: DARRYL HAMMOND

This seven-year-old superhero looks ready to become South Africa's Stan Lee

By day, Prince Mashawana is a regular school kid from Bryanston but when his school uniform comes off he is a superhero with a mission to get young and old reading.

While his character, Super Mash, is the epitome of fearlessness, Prince was inspired to create the hero when he was faced with bullying at school.

Struggling to find a solution to the difficulties of bullying, Mashawana told his father who inspired his need to support other kids who are trying to conquer the fears.

"My dad told me that I must stand up for myself and to be confident," Prince shares.

While taking his father's advice, he birthed the high-flying Super Mash story. "Being Super Mash makes me confident in standing up for other kids."

Through his first edition which was published this week, Prince has a series of issues in the pipeline that will deal with a range of matters including speech therapy.

While Prince's character might exist in a fictional world, it has become his way of not only dealing with his own difficult realities but a means of motivating other kids to do the same.

For his father, Collen Mashawana, this has afforded them the opportunity to also inform parents through reading story books that they will be launching as part of the Super Mash brand.

Not only will this motivate a reading culture but it gives space for both parents and their children to learn about solving the difficult issues they face on a day-to-day basis.

"The parents must be the ones to drive the kids, it's not only educating the kids but the people who need the book the most are the parents.

"This is extremely exciting for me. there is a black child who is a superhero. It is amazing how other kids believe he really is a superhero, so it means we can make them believe anything," said Collen.

Collen has been inundated by parents with an interest in buying the Super Mash costumes as well.

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