What an exciting finish to Literacy week! On Friday, students from Prep to Year 8 had the opportunity to hear the songs, sounds and stories from Valanga Khosa, who visited us from Melbourne. Valanga is participating in the Port Fairy Book Fair celebrations this weekend and the Moyne Shire Council organised his appearance at Hawkesdale. Valanga was born in South Africa and spent his youth in Alexandra, a black township in Johannesburg, and in rural Transvaal. Growing up in a community where many could neither read or write, music and dance and storytelling were an integral part of the culture of his people. He has written a picture book available at the school library called “Gezani and the tricky baboon” and has toured schools throughout Australia.
Valanga entertained our students with his story of growing up in a very small village with six very tall sisters and three very tall brothers and his grey-haired grandparents. He told us about when his grandparents first suggested he go to school, his first ride in a motor car and his first taste of chewing gum. Even Year 8 students sat on the floor, fixated for the full fifty minutes, with his story and music from instruments Valanga had made in refugee camps. In the Year 6/7/8 session, Valanga spoke briefly about racism in South Africa and hopefully gave students some understanding of how privileged they are to live in Australia, where the majority of people have easy access to schools, uniforms, equipment and technology. Please revisit this post next week, when I will have uploaded the video of his period 5 performance, including music, stories and songs.