2 minutes reading time (370 words)

Mother Tongue Preservation

web-Mandilakhe-Pato-with-his-book-Ndixolele-Peter-during-his-book-launch Mandilakhe Pato with his book Ndixolele Peter during his book launch

Mandilakhe Pato is a young man who hails from Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape and currently residing in Khayelitsha while completing his studies in a Management Assistant at the College of Cape Town’s City Campus. Mandilakhe is a proud author of a Xhosa novel titled: “Ndixolele Peter” (Forgive Me Peter), the story is about parental relations and its challenges. He has witnessed a lot of children suffering from psychological trauma resulting from a lack of guidance and support from parents and/guardians, he hopes his book will address this and break the cycle.

Mandilakhe found inspiration to write the book from former president Nelson Mandela’s quote, which says:

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

His passion for the arts and writing began early in his childhood, this saw him join the Abahambi Arts Movement (a Non-Profit Organisation) at the Makukhanye Art Room to nature his craft. The Makukhanye Art Room is an award-winning Shack Theatre (production) for Best Innovation in Theatre, it was established in 2007 as a response to the scarcity of rehearsal and performance spaces around the marginalized community of Khayelitsha.

web Mandilakhe Pato and his mother during his book launchThe college discovered Mandilakhe’s talents during a poetry competition, where he rendered a beautiful poem. The competition provided an opportunity to Mandilakhe and fellow students the platform to express themselves and showcase their skills. It is through the competition that he gained confidence and decide to be serious about writing his first book. “When Covid-19 lockdown hit not only did it give me more time to complete my book, but it assisted me with saving some of my NSFAS allowances to publish my book. If it wasn’t for this allowance my dream of publishing a book would still be in the pipe dream” said Mandelakhe.

The book was launched at the Makukhanye Art Room with family, friends, community and educators (from College of Cape Town and sister Western Cape Colleges) in attendance. He acknowledged and recognized his educators as his pillars and strength throughout this journey. Mandilakhe promises to write and publish more books in the future, cause the writing bug has bitten him hard.

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