MICHELLE Nkamankeng, the youngest author in Africa published her first book, titled Waiting for the Waves, at the age of seven.
Now aged eight, Michelle who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, is planning to release two more books this year.
Michelle is listed among the top 10 of the world’s youngest authors.
Not surprisingly, she is passionate about reading and writing. She started reading books at the age of four and two years later she wrote her first book, Waiting for the Wave, which took her only four weeks to complete.
She says: “Books help us turn our journey of growing up into a [real] journey where we start and learn new things.”
While most girls of her age are still playing with their dolls, Michelle is raising eyebrows by demonstrating a wisdom beyond her years and by quoting South Africa’s first post-apartheid president.
She says: “Mr [Nelson] Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world. A person can educate himself or herself by reading. Great leaders became great because of the inspiration they got from reading books.”
Michelle, who is in Grade 3 at Sacred Heart College in Observatory, wants to become a paediatrician when she grows up.
Michelle’s mother Lala Atah Nkamankeng is proud of her daughter’s achievements. She says: “It is overwhelming as a parent. What she is doing inspires other kids to read. We hope this will change how children in Africa regard literature.”