Literature in all its forms; be it non-fiction prose, drama, fiction prose or poetry can be used as a powerful tool in effecting change. Reading literacy improves literacy and helps us understand the human experience amongst other things thereby building empathy. Empathy plays a critical role in promoting social cohesion needed to build a better society. Most of the socio-economic and political problems in Cameroon today can often be linked directly or indirectly to a lack of empathy. Therefore, to be the better breed, there is a great need for is to promote the production and consumption, so to speak, of literature amongst us, the youth.
In that light, this month we bring to you the story of one of the youngest authors in the world, Stacey Fru.
She is a multiple award-winning author, artist, television host and philanthropist at the age of eleven and she is our youth of the month.
The idea of writing a book of her own was born when at age seven Stacey saw her mother’s master’s degree thesis and thinking it was a book her mother wrote she decided to write hers. Without any parental supervision, Stacey wrote her first book, Smelly Cats, on her computer. When she was done, she informed her mother of what she had accomplished. The later read through her work found an editor for Smelly Cats which was later published by her mother’s company. At age eight, she authored another book titled Bob and the Snake.
Her journey to accomplish her goal has not been without hurdles. She faces difficulty in getting her books available in bookstores, libraries, and schools across Africa which is her main focus as of now and the world at large. The financing required to achieve this is a major drawback but true to the Better Breed she is, she has not let this deter her from doing outreach work through her foundation. One of their ongoing projects is the African children of the year awards, where children between the ages of 7 and 13 in Africa can be nominated and winners travel to South Africa for the award ceremony. Visit her website www.staceyfru.co.za to find out more about this and to access the forms.
Stacey, pictured below with Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, is set to launch her third book titled, Smelly Cats on vacation, on the third of July 2018. Her advice to the Cameroonian youth on how to become the Better Breed is for us to realize that we are the future leaders and therefore lead by example for the future generations.