“I decided to write this book after a trip to the book store with my parents. I realised that all of the children’s books were written by adults and I said to myself: ‘Why can’t children write children’s books instead of just adults?'” said Michelle Nkamankeng.
When she started writing her first book, Waiting for the Waves, Michelle was six years old. Two years later, she has published one book, written three more and is working on her fifth.
“When I gave them [her parents] my book they didn’t believe me and they just put it in the drawer. So I kept working hard to show them that writing is my talent,” she said.
What inspires a six-year-old to pen her own book? In Michelle’s case it was fear, or rather, overcoming it. The story follows a little girl named Titi who masters her fear of waves and self-doubt thanks to some help from her family. The book’s events mirrored what had happened to Michelle on a holiday when she was younger.
Titi being scared of the waves is what happened to me on our holiday to the beach. My father helped me believe in myself and conquer my fear of the waves,” she said.
Writing is not the only thing she is good at. Routinely addressing crowds filled with the type of people who buy Montblanc pens and give money to Unicef, Michelle shows a flair for oratory that has been honed by a busy speaking schedule.
At eight years old she has already achieved what many an unhappy office worker secretly dreams about and by the looks of it will have published a miniature library by the time she is old enough to vote. It just goes to show that the youth are not as feckless and Snapchat-addicted as some would have you believe.
• Waiting for the Waves is available at good book stores. For more information on her upcoming novels visit her Facebook page.