Inspired by a South African soapie, Grade 12 Capricorn High School learner, Vutomi Khosa, 17, wrote her first novel ‘Storms until happiness’, published in February, with another one hot on its heels.
This highly motivated young woman says her book, published by Flying Scroll Publishers, is about a girl named Leila who struggles between the storms of abuse and a harsh childhood as she strives for success and happiness. Love propels her inner strength and perseverance as she recovers from a bad relationship and engages in one which changes her life for the better.
“The novel aims to make one understand that the power of love is stronger than hatred. In addition, it carries the message that nothing worthwhile will be achieved in life without challenges.
“The third lesson is that we should never judge people based on their outer appearance or situation because we are unaware of their capabilities. People should always keep an optimistic mindset. Even if everything seems to weigh them down, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams but do whatever it takes to make them come true,” Vutomi explains.
She says the book is based on the lives of herself and her parents, Elizabeth and Chavani Khosa.
Vutomi says she decided to write the book after watching the television series, ‘Skeem Saam’. Her second book, which she is already busy writing, will be about her year in Grade 12.
Besides being an upcoming author and poet, who is passionate about literary writings, she also does extremely well academically. This year she received a Merit Certificate for getting an 80%+ average year mark. She received distinctions in six subjects namely Physical Science, Mathematics, Life Orientation, Tsonga First Additional Language, English Home Language and Geography. She was also awarded the Tenax Medallion for Progress through Tenacity. “I have no favourite subject. I love them all,” she says.
Her recipe for success when it comes to doing well in her exams is to use a lot of visuals while studying, and listen to music at the same time. “Music relaxes me and helps me to concentrate,” she says.
She moved to Polokwane from Giyani in 2010 and attended Florapark Comprehensive Primary School.
In her spare time she reads and attends motivational programmes. She says she would like to study towards a medical degree at the University of Cape Town. “But I plan to continue writing as a hobby.”
One of her burning desires is to travel around the world with the purpose of discovering, igniting, nurturing and unleashing the potential of youngsters.
She advises other teenagers to believe that anything is possible in life as long as they are committed and dedicated to their goals. “Believe in yourself, and ask for help from others when you need it. Always be willing to go the extra mile and persevere,” she further advises.
She says one of the most important life lessons she has learnt so far is that she cannot run away from life’s challenges. “I fall each day but I still remain faithful to the man above!”
Vutomi describes herself as a “black woman striving towards independence, God’s servant, an author, and a lion hungry for success”.
She says her role model is herself. “I inspire myself, and I want to be an inspiration to others.”
Story and photo: KAREN VENTER