Debut aims to teach kids new ways of saying ‘hello’
FORMER Kingsridge High School pupil Refiloe Moahloli recently released her first book, How Many Ways Can You Say Hello? for children.
Born and raised in Mthatha until she was 10 years old, Moahloli is teaching the little ones different ways of saying “hello” with her book.
“I decided I wanted to become a writer when I was still a university student and pursued it full-time seven years after working in the corporate world,” Moahloli said.
“I often have multiple stories floating in my head that I want to share. This debut of mine was inspired by my nieces on one end. I wanted them to embrace multilingualism, especially when they start school and are exposed to languages other than their mother tongue and my aunt on the other end, who speaks six of the 11 official languages of South Africa,” she said.
The delightful story of rhyming verse, accompanied by charming illustrations, is a must-read for all young South African children. For those parents, grandparents and teachers who are not sure how to pronounce “hello” in all 11 official languages, the book comes with a CD narrated by the author herself to guide pronunciation.
Spending time with children and viewing the world from their perspective is where she gets her inspiration from.
“Some ideas are from particularly interesting dreams that I managed to document while half asleep and the magic in everyday life and things I expose myself to,” she said.
Moahloli said so much patience is required for each step of the writing process and it brings her absolute joy to know that this is what she is supposed to be doing with her life.
Apart from the challenges of writing and having to silence her inner critic, she said there are moments where she would second-guess herself because she would consider what other people might think of a certain aspect. However, this actually serves as a driving force for her to continue writing.
“The best way to write is to write a story the way you want to write it initially. Write it until you finish it and only then do you start the editing,” she advised.
Moahloli said she plans to write another book next year.