Author shares dream of better city
Take a dream and make it real.
That is the call from author Mzwamadoda Mvimbeli in his book The Dream City, which aims to “walk the path” with young readers, and guide them towards social and environmental responsibility.
The book uses simple sketches by graphic designer Akhona Mbange showing a motorist travelling out of the country, into the city and through an industrial zone.
Mvimbeli begins his book with a reference to climate change – “The world is changing/ It needs saving” – and moves on to the issues of water, littering, air pollution, the need for companies to go green and the dangerous crime of electricity theft. Mvimbeli, 26, said he grew up in Kwazakhele and went to primary school there before doing his high school at PE College in Russell Road.
He said he had always had an interest in a clean and healthy environment.
“I participated in many community programmes and saw that littering was so bad – yet it was not a major focus.
“I recognised that there was a need to provide an alternative and to start with the very young kids.”
He took the concept to Mbange and they worked out how a book on the subject would look and what it would say.
Mvimbeli then wrote the words and Mbange did the illustrations. More discussion and adjustments followed until the book was completed.
Mvimbeli, who runs an advertising concept company called Threattricks based at Kwantu Towers in Govan Mbeki Avenue, said the initial idea was to publish the book digitally but he realised that would mean missing their most important market.
“I wanted it to go especially to disadvantaged pre-schools but they mostly have no access to computers so it would be of no value to them.”
Determined to go the printing route, he received a donation from DA councillor Helga van Staaden to this end and managed to get a single prototype of the book printed.
His aim was now to approach the corporate sector to get more books published and to get it distributed, he said.
“I’m hoping that companies will take it up as part of their corporate social investment and that by 2020 we’ll have at least 1,000 copies distributed through 100 of the poorest Nelson Mandela Bay pre-schools.”
Van Staaden said she had met Mvimbeli when he was part of the DA student body, and had read the first draft of his book before it was printed.
“I think he has great potential and I was impressed with the book. Hopefully it will get some more buy-in from here.”
The young author said there was clearly a huge need for improved environmental care.
“But to do that we need to build our communities through education, and walk the path with them.
“Where do we start? We start by introducing the young generation, as the future belongs to them.”
The cover of The Dream City shows a fantasy city rising towards the stars and what looks like a minibus taxi flying upward through the night sky.
Unity was the final key to success, Mvimbeli said.
“Working together we can accomplish greatness.
“We can create the perfect city, the dream city.”..