Football is one of the most loved sporting disciplines in the world and it has a huge following compared to other sporting disciplines.
And it is this love for football which has led 11-year-old student from Phoenix International Primary School in Blantyre, Khwima Kayira, to publish his very first book.
Khwima, who is in standard six, joins other young writers out there who have pushed their way out to publish a book at a tender age.
Titled Greatest Eleven, the 45-page book printed by Montfort Media and published by Bookland International takes people through the story of Jason who loved football.
He said he is extending the culture of writing to his clan which includes one of the renowned writers Legson Kayira who authored I Will Try among other books. Khwima’s aunt Mbono Dube who is a novelist and has authored My Mother My Inspiration and other novels and his mother is a storyteller and writer. It is therefore no surprise that Khwima is fast becoming a writer.
And just to show that all the contents in the book are his, he takes time to read an extract which goes like “Jason loved football. He loved football.
“What he liked most was playing football. Football! Football! Football! Each time he woke up, he would go outside to play. He would bathe, go to school, come back, do his homework and play again. Oh, he was not the only one who was crazy about football; all his friends, his best friend Jake and the rest – Jonathan, Zack, Chicco and Themba”.
This is what the book is all about and, in the extract, Khwima goes on to read that Jason dreamed of playing for Arsenal, the Gunners. This is one of the top football clubs which plays in the Premier League.
“As I have said, I love football and at school I also play football. I play in defence and I would love to play for a top team,” Khwima said with a smile.
Flipping through some of the chapters in the book, Khwima said he hopes that both young and old will take time to read the story.
“This is a book dedicated to all soccer lovers, young and old,” he said.
In the foreword, it is written clearly that this is a story coming straight from the mouth and imaginations of this 11-year old boy and that Greatest Eleven Season 1 forces and entices both soccer lovers and those that care little about the sport to read it to the end.
It says that the author uses descriptive-narrative language that puts the reader at the very centre of action, either playing or cheering.
Khwima, better known as KK (King of Kayiras), is a soccer lover and from a tender age, he fell in love with the sport and follows soccer leagues.
“The day I started this book project, my mother confiscated my cellphone in order to urge me to stick to the task at hand. KK being KK, instead of being dejected, bored, I decided to entertain myself by writing about soccer. I actually searched for my phone and found it, but I decided against picking or using it,” he said.
Khwima said her mother’s confiscation of the phone was a blessing in disguise as he went on to pick a pen and paper and started writing and that marked the journey into Greatest Eleven.
In Greatest Eleven, Khwima displays his prowess by being both the referee and commentator.
“This is an entertaining book no doubt about that and it knows no age,” he said.
Khwima’s father Isaac said their son surprised them and that all they did was to support him achieve his goal of publishing a book.
“It is a book that is packed with life lessons like “pride goes before a fall for the Kingsley brothers” and the “if at first you do not succeed, try try again” for Jason and his friends,” Khwima’s father said.
The book has 11 chapters starting off with almost an ordinary day before moving on to Kingsley brothers, recruiting the team, assembling the team and goes on to the final.
“This book also comes in handy when we do not have enough of children’s books on the market,” Khwima’s father said.
He said the book will also help in inspiring other children to publish their own books and tell their own stories.
“In these times of technology, the writing and reading culture is no longer there and so parents need to encourage children to read and write. I also would like to call upon parents to support their children in whatever talent they see,” Khwima’s father said.
Veteran author Alfred Msadala said bookshelves need to have more books written by children and hailed Khwima for coming out with a book.
“This also entails that his parents were there to help him. Without support from parents he could not have achieved this feat. There are children out there who would like to tell stories but they are not supported,” Msadala said.
For Khwima the journey into the writing world has just begun.
“I am not stopping here. I want to write more books,” he said.