By Deogratias Mmana
Teacher Mary Pendame has launched four books on Malawian folktales to promote reading culture among children.
The four books are Why armoured crickets have no wings, Fear surrounded the village, I have a plan and How dogs became man’s best friend, and are in three languages thus English, Chichewa and French to increase their accessibility.
Speaking at the launch on Saturday in Lilongwe, Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje urged parents and guardians in the country to promote reading culture among their children, saying early years are critical stages of education.
She said children who have a reading habit do better in life than those who do not.
“Unless you read, you cannot learn and the future becomes bleak. If individuals do not succeed, the country will not succeed,” NyaLonje said.
The minister also disclosed that her ministry has planned to review education curricula at the primary, secondary and teacher training levels to see if what is offered is relevant to the learners.
On her part, Pendame said the journey to writing the books was not easy but commended all those that helped her succeed.
She said the books will help readers get moral values, develop critical thinking and boost their imagination.
During the launch several individuals and organisations bought the books and donated them to schools of their choice.
Malawi Writers Union spokesperson Foster Benjamin commended Pendame for authoring the books and pledged the union’s continued support to her.
Pendame worked in private companies for about 10 years. She studied in Kenya, worked in Senegal and got inspired to write children’s picture books, having been amazed by kids’ love of reading picture books.