5 minutes with Lebohang Masango

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Lebohang Masango

Masters candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand and author Lebohang Masango chats to us about her debut childrens’ book Mpumi’s Magic Beads. By Kwanele Mathebula

Image: Lebohang Masango IG

Mpumi’s Magic Beads was inspired by wanting to imagine something new for children navigating the city. I love Johannesburg and while it’s usually characterised as a dangerous city, I wanted to highlight its child-friendly aspects while creating an enchanting story for children to fall in love with.

From the beginning of writing it, I always knew it would be a children’s book. I love children’s books and I have always yearned to write one because they have played such a significant role in my love for words.

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It took me three days to write the story. I enjoyed writing this book. The entire process of producing the book by myself took about nine months. Though there weren’t any challenges, I did experience the pressure of me being a perfectionist and making sure that I was constantly making the best creative and editorial decisions.

I hope that the book inspires the imaginations of children. I hope that after reading Mpumi’s Magic Beads they will see Johannesburg in a different light.

I chose to self-publish because I enjoy having creative control of my work. Also, I was in a rush to have it out in the world and approaching publishing houses would have taken up a lot of time.

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My plan for the future is to release more books. I also would like to do more public readings for children at schools or libraries. To find out where her next readings are, follow Lebohang on Twitter.