Here is an open letter to Minister Angie Motshekga written by 12 year old Gugulethu Nxumalo. This is a perfect example of the kind of writing that young children are capable of from a young age. It is important for children to know they can use their writing in their mother tongue for a variety of reasons including advocacy. Seeing as Bua-lit has published open letters in the past, it felt necessary that Gugulethu’s letter be part of the advocacy which we aim for in our collective. Furthermore, we hope to encourage many young children to find ways of publishing their writing in their mother tongue so that African languages are not only developed through fiction writing but also through a variety of genres as well.
We have also included a voice note of Gugulethu reading the letter herself. This highlights the meaning-making process of the letter for not only Gugulethu but for other young readers as well. We hope this will demystify the trope that young people find it difficult to read and write their own languages. We hope this letter and reading will inspire more parents to encourage their children to not only speak their mother tongues but also to create stories and narratives using African languages in the way Gugulethu has done with this letter.