Dear Readers,

The stories in this book were told by Sibongile and written down by Andrea and Heather.

Sibongile likes to talk about things that happen in her life. For a long time she spoke to Andrea about her experiences.

We were learners on an adult education course. On the course we learnt that there is a great need for reading material for new readers. When we were told to do a project we decided to make a book. We thought that Sibongile’s stories would be interesting for adults who want to practise reading English.

We asked Sibongile first what she would like to tell the readers about, and she said, “I want to talk about how we are suffering.”

We liked Sibongile’s stories very much and learnt a lot from them. But then we thought, “Maybe the readers know all the things Sibongile is talking about. Maybe they want something very different.”

But Sibongile said, “I think these stories are right for the readers because people are forgetting how things used to be.”

We decided to use drawings for some of the stories to make the book more interesting. We thought you, the readers, might want to use the pictures to talk about similar things that have happened to you. We asked Jeff Rankin, who teaches drawing at the Natal Technikon, to help us. He made our book a project for his second year learners. They read the book. Sibongile then helped them by describing what the people in the stories looked like.

We enjoyed making this book together and we hope that you will enjoy reading it. Maybe it will encourage you to write down your own stories. If you need some advice we would be very happy to help you. You can contact us through the following address:

New Readers Publishers
Centre for Adult Education
School of Adult and Higher Education
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Andrea and Heather

We have kept the following South African words in the stories:

daka – mud
tsotsis – criminals
roti – flat, handmade bread
muthi – medicine
iJuba – traditional beer
Rama – margarine
amasi – sour milk
gogo – granny
braai – barbeque