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Teaching children cultural roots through writing

2021-02-03  Paheja Siririka

Teaching children cultural roots through writing
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Martha /Khoeses last year published a book dubbed Hoandi’s Culture Day, a series of four books written particularly for the modern child raised in Africa, telling stories with a cultural undertone which diverts the attention of the child back to his/her roots.

Targeting grades four to seven, the book re-introduces the importance of play, thus engaging in local games, the importance of learning, thus counting through play, and also highlights the importance of friendship across diverse cultures. 

She says the message from the book is that children learn much better through reading, and reading diverse works of literature. Hoandi’s Culture Day is one of six books already written by /Khoeses.

“By reading from an early age a child’s brain is stimulated as that allows them to understand the meaning of language and helps to build key language, literacy and social skills. Language articulation is perfected and learning development enhanced. This can be extended to areas such as broadening knowledge, improving communication skills, developing confidence and independence, and enabling achievement in other subjects,” believes /Khoeses.

According to her observations, there is a huge gap in the country’s reading culture and that needs to improve.
 “While the older population was conditioned to read, the younger population relies on technology to advance their learning. Today, instead of holding a good old book, you can download an e-reader and a simple lesson. Instead of learning from a book you are enabled to search for a minimal and direct answer from various online search engines. While it was important to study through a book in the past or seek entertainment accordingly, there are advanced methods to entertain children, hence reading culture dies out slowly,” expanded /Khoeses.

She says she has been exposed to reading from a very young age and learned that a child’s imagination and learning can only be enhanced through the magical experience that reading offers. 

“It opens hidden worlds and provides entertainment in an educative form. Our elders instilled discipline and worthwhile lessons into their young through storytelling. Books avail another form of storytelling as it can be kept for reference in this world where our history is underrepresented,” explained /Khoeses.

 “The titles are Hoandi and the City which is a village boy going to the city for the first time, Hoandi and Friends which entails making friends and knowing about their roots; Hoandi and Culture Day is a school event where kids learn important aspects of other classmates’ culture through the exchange of roles and so forth, the Afrikaner girl researching Oshiwambo culture and presenting the topic; while Hoandi and School Trip is a group of friends travelling from Windhoek to the coast,” detailed /Khoeses.
 – psiririka@nepc.com.na


2021-02-03  Paheja Siririka

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