Thank you Phuthanang for making space in your busy schedule for an author interview.
Let's get started.
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Just write. We need more voices, more books, and more thoughts out there as we all explore ourselves.
What made you decide to become one of the ten co-authors of ‘The South African Book of Affirmations’?
Just the possibility of being able to give children hugs through words in a book. The possibility of saying something to a child that they would remember in the future as they make their way through the world and discover themselves and the world.
What were your letters in the book? What language did you author the book in?
I did Setswana, which was B, R, and W.
How did it feel to be a part of the community writing ‘The South African Book of Affirmations’ and writing for kids in your home language?
This felt like a hug to my own inner child. The illustrations are also so relatable to children, and it felt amazing to be part of a group project that considered all 11 official languages in South Africa (at the time of print).
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
This was a labor of love by all the authors involved.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
A warm feeling of belonging and having an idea of the infinite possibilities in life on earth.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I have many, but one who really made me fall in love with stories and reading as an adult is Paulo Coelho.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
The Covenant of Water and The Conscious Parent.
What is your favorite quote or African proverb?
Nkabe ke ngwana wa morago - take the leap of action. ‘I should have’ finishes last.
If you were a South African tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?
One thing that I believe we take for granted as South Africans is our diversity. We have our issues, but we accept each other. It’s normal and common to see an African walking together with an Indian and laughing together. In a lot of countries in the world, there is a lot of sameness, but here there are a lot of differences. Really much like what you have in nature. Everything is so different. I would want a tourist to notice that and see how they can increase their acceptance of others after they experience South Africa.
Are you working on anything else?
I am working on more Children’s books and a Namibian travel guidebook.
How can people stay connected with you and informed about any future projects you are working on?
I am on Instagram as @phuthim, Facebook, and LinkedIn as Phuthanang Motsielwa.
Interested in getting a copy of The South African Alphabet of Affirmations?
More Proverbs by the co-authors of The South African Alphabet of Affirmations: