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Published on: August 23rd, 2022

South Africa is truly a hotbed of writing talent!

…as I found when I gave some seminars to a large number of would-be writers through the auspices of the incredible charity, Afrika Tikkun. See Afrika Tikkun work to help young South Africans, mostly from very deprived backgrounds, through education into employment. It’s about developing and meeting aspirations – and in the two years I have had the privilege of delivering writing seminars, the students’ enthusiasm has no limits.

So here are their stories. Eventually I (and the victims I choose to help me judge!) will be faced with the immensely difficult task of choosing just one story to award the Junior Prize of £50 to, around a thousand Rands. HOWEVER: WATCH THIS SPACE! There may soon be excellent news about other prizes on offer…) So choose your favourites! Comment on which you find the most engaging, and remember that the key challenge of the task is – each story can only be a MAXIMUM of 100 words! Now that requires skill and art.

Please remember: for many of these students (aged 11-18) English is their second or third language, so these stories are a significant achievement for every writer.



Cast away from the gates of heaven, an angel grounded in the pit of hell. With range and selfishness, the angel made himself sovereign of hell and with him the first wife of Adam, empress of hell, Lilith, together they ruled the underworld. Whispering hatred, lust, greed to the ears of those who walked upon earth. Kazau, son of the great serpent bound to enter the earth and wreak havoc to the streets of Johannesburg. Till the stars flourished and the sun rose he did as he was destined …until a night where he fell in love with a mortal.

Linda Nkomo



Here I am once again – slumped on that chair for what feels like hours on end. Everyone screamed and asked for help running for their lives. Clouds of black smoke filled the sky.

I stood there in shock wondering “Is my life coming to an end?” I tried to escape but was too spaced out to make a move. I never even noticed that the fire had broken out in one part of the classroom. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it… I was safe, after being dragged out with burnt school pants serving as a reminder.

Sitholile Magoqoza


How people get names

In the olden days before people even named their villages or towns, there was harmony in the world until people started having more kids and there was disorder. One brave man came up with a clever plan, that they would start naming places, towns, food, and even people to restore order in the world. People thought he was going crazy until time went by and people met to try out his plan. The first person named was Cebo meaning the man’s. Since then everything was named according to its characteristics THE MAN’s PLAN WORKED. The world was restored.

Sitholile Magoqoza


A difficult life without a mother’s love

Once upon a time there was a girl named Thandi. She lived with her father, her mother had left her since she was a little baby. He did everything she demanded. When it was her sixteenth birthday she demanded such a difficult gift from her father. She wanted him to tell her about her mother, but her father didn’t know how to tell her that her mother could not take it anymore because they were poor she then decided to leave them.

When Thandi heard all those things her heart was very broken

Blessing Mudzingwa


Cross your heart and hope to die

‘Truth should always win out but cross your heart and hope to die.’ I said that to myself

When I looked in the bathroom mirror at school. I had just received my report seeing how much I had failed my main subjects. Naledi came in after she heard what happened and said ‘success is a very uncomfortable process, and failing is not fatal’. Walking past me as I was frustrated. I wiped my tears and took a deep breath, telling myself’ I can push harder next time ‘I smiled and looked away.

Brightness Mohlakoane


Reality always hits hard.

Mother, mother! I screamed as I found her in her room, bleeding on the floor.

I froze as I thought the worst. I picked up my phone to call someone but reality hit. We have no one. It was just me, my mother and my brother. My other relatives abandoned us because according to them my mother killed my father. I cried, my mother was motionless, probably bleeding to death. I called an ambulance. As I waited for a response from the doctors, I realized I was brought into a world where family is merely blood.

Ntombivuyo Zoe Mhlongo



Once upon a time, there was a cute, melanin, friendly and kind lady as I thought I could pull her closer and yes I did. Knowing her was my wish.

I decided to go to her and introduce myself and looked straight in her eyes, she smiled. As soon as I saw her smile I blushed like a little child, as time went by we started being close. I could have sworn that god is a woman. I promise meeting her didn’t determine my destination, well her name is Mathapelo and she’s still mine.

(Charlotte) Maropeng Ramoloto 



Everyday people in Turkey wondered why the woman is always wearing shoes. A 32 years old woman called Mary always liked to wear shoes. Stories went around saying even when she is crossing a river Mary will always wear shoes.

One-day Mary was fighting with a man on a bus, she took off her shoes and hit the man. All eyes on her feet. Passengers realize that she doesn’t have toes.

Mary told herself that she must not be scared of other people. Mary started to have confidence, she started to accept her disability and inspire others.

William Terrence 


Why there are rocks

Once upon a time there was a place called Arekopaneng deep inside the jungle where Giants made from rocks lived, they lived 100million years without being disturbed .

One day a giant decided to go explore the woods just to look then come back then a human appeared, he jumped “I think we got one!!”the giant ran as quick as it could! And told the chief what had happened.

The giants were ordered to go hide, sleep and never show themselves again some shattered Into pieces and that’s why there are rocks, mountains and hills on earth!.

Gãñïë Sindana 


Drums of love

Who doesn’t believe in love? Especially those long and romantic movies that might make one to be taken away by their minds to the magic world filled with a cool golden breeze of love. I guess that person is me. I often feel annoyed whenever I see people getting trapped in the name of marriage and literally finding no way to escape from this deep dark cave called love.

Well that is what I believed until I saw this gorgeous young lady bearing the gifts of drumming which made me to fall in a dark hole called love.

Siyabonga Mkhutyukelwa


Lightning and Thunder

Long time ago in a village called Mucoka, there was Thunder and Lightning. Thunder was the mother and Lightning was the son.

Lightning was very short tempered and all he has to do is to set everything infront of him on fire and his mother had to make a loud noise in order to reprimand him.

People from the village were really tired of the chaos, so the people from the village decided to go to the chief and addressed the problem. The chief decided to banish them and told them to stay in the sky

Amahle Valashiya



Once upon a time there was a lady called Mary. She was 40 years old. Mary was having a womb problem, always praying God to bless her with kids. She was living alone in a rural area. One day Mary went to the bush to refresh her mind. While walking around the bush, she found a doll under the tree, picked it and went back home. When she arrives she named a doll “Blessing”. She started treating the doll like a human being. One day miracle happens the doll become alive, that’s when Mary started having a family.

Rebecca Modise


Bullying victim’s voice fights her battle

In the evening, contestants were having makeovers done with their upmarket outfits. Ntombi, whose labelled as “pauper” just wore her old pink dress.

“Everybody please gather around” said the host. Everyone gathered and the competition began.

Contestants took turns on stage and it was Alisa’s gangs’ turn to perform whom always bullied Carol about her background. They danced their routine, then came Ntombi’s moment. She started singing her song that she got lost in it with her eyes closed. The crowd cheered for her. Finally, the competition ended and Ntombi became the victor. Since then she never experienced bullying.

Candy Mamabolo


That one black tree

Long ago in a world full of magic there was a man named Adonis who was known for his handsomeness but had an evil heart . He lived in Asos village .He didn’t love anyone but himself so one day he met a young woman with the name of Lyre (brave).He fell in love with the woman , the villagers were stunned because he was evil so they cast a spell on him and was transformed into a black tree that no one dares to touch . Adonis lived with the curse for the rest of his life.

Sinethemba Malinga 


There once was a boy called Carve. He was gifted the power of carving. Whatever he carved, came to life. He lived in the royal palace of Khulula, because of his gift. He received daily requests from the King, to carve him numerous objects, but in return he would not get any form of appreciation. He then got tired of being used for his power. He had then fled from the Palace and the Kingdom to live in the Solar Mountains and was never to be seen again. Some people say he still carves to this day, cause of unknown creatures.