‘Education opens doors to better life’

Lee-Anne Butler

EDUCATION is the most important thing that any person can have as it is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you. This is the message from national best-selling author and Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela.

Polela is in Nelson Mandela Bay this week as one of the Department of Arts and Culture’s many ambassadors to talk to school pupils about the importance of literacy and reading books regularly.

Other ambassadors who are expected to give motivational talks until tomorrow at the Red Location Museum for National Book Week include musician Zonke, poet and hip-hop artist Kabomo, Shift presenter Aaron Moloisi and actor Jafta Mamabolo, known as Matthew on the popular soapie, Generations.

“I developed a love for reading and it gave me the ability to confidently express myself. When you are able to confidently express yourself then many doors can open for you,” Polela said.

“My book is also about the importance of education and literacy. Education is the only thing that can’t be taken away from you. This is the message I hope they will take home with them.”

Polela has had tremendous success since the publication of his first book, a gripping biography entitled My Father, My Monster, and has been short-listed for the prestigious Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and the 2011-12 Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award.

The book is about his childhood experience and his attempts to reconcile with his father, who killed Polela’s mother.

Polela said he was working on his second book, which he hoped to publish next year.

“This next one is not about me and not about my life. It was very emotional and draining to write my first book … I will never write about myself again,” he said.

He said although the new generation were more interested in cellphones, including chatting on MXit and BBM, he hoped they would still read eBooks.

“I also think that if government could … provide more libraries in rural areas and townships, then pupils who live there and who cannot afford to buy books could also benefit.”

Polela will be in the city until Sunday.

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