The Girl Who Was Not Happy… with a Happy Ending
It is not every day that one gets to meet an award winning author. I for one certainly do not.
It was therefore both a pleasant surprise and privilege to discover that Lerato Tefo, a person I often interact with, is the writer of a children’s book, ‘The Girl Who Was Not Happy … with a Happy Ending.’
Being African In Africa: Who is Lerato Tefo?
Lerato Tefo: I’m an award winning author of the book called ‘The Girl Who Was Not Happy … with a Happy Ending,’ business owner, sister, mother and God-fearing woman from a rural area in the heart of Hammanskraal, South Africa.
BAIA: What led you to write this book and why a children’s book?
LT: I have always known that the need for children to get in the habit of reading books is very high, particularly in townships and rural areas. Therefore, writing a book for children made a lot of sense to me, drawing on the motivation that drives me to help children to love reading. My love for children and having worked with children for many years and reading them books daily, also inspired the idea.
This is coupled with the talent God granted me as a writer, telling stories that are based on reality. I find that we have more story books centered on fantasy, than real life. I recognise a need for children to also read more about what actually happens in life.
The book is factually based on my own life, but written from a child’s perspective. It unpacks my life as a hopeless and poor little girl whom God spoke to on a daily basis. However, I twisted some of the incidents as this book is meant for children and my aim is not to scare them, but to educate them more about God’s love and the fact that it can heal anything.
BAIA: You recently won an award for the book, tell us about it.
LT: I received an award under the children’s life skills category, from the first ever African Authors awards in 2018.
BAIA: Written in English, ‘The Girl Who Was Not Happy … with a Happy Ending’ has been translated into Zulu. Are there any prospects of it being translated into other languages?
LT: Yes, my aim is to translate it into Sepedi and have an English audio version produced as well.
BAIA: Tell us about the role played by Robyn Bosch, the illustrator and Wonder Dlamini who translated the book into Zulu.
LT: Robyn Bosch is a professional art teacher, a former colleague and good friend of mine, who played a big role as she knew and understood what kind of illustrations I wanted and on what page, capturing the scenes perfectly. It was amazing working with her and I hope to work with her on my next book. Wonder Dlamini, a teacher by profession and a good friend, did his part in working through my drafts with me. He held my hand during my journey in writing this book and translated it in isiZulu willingly.
I’m grateful to these two people!
BAIA: What are you passionate about and what are your future plans?
LT: I’m passionate about the wellbeing and development of children. My future plans are to write more children’s books in a variety of languages, open an early childhood development center and create more awareness of the need to get children in the habit of reading books.
BAIA: Lastly, where can the book be found?
LT: I’m in the process of getting my publication in book stores and on Amazon. I’m also mobile and take orders from the following social and digital media platforms:
Facebook -Lerato Tefo | Twitter @Leratotefo1 | Instagram lerato.lhmgmail (direct message) |email email@example.com
© Mwanja Ng’anjo #BeingAfricanInAfrica