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Sicelo Kula – the new writer on the block

Sicelo Kula with Cover2Cover directors Dorothy Dyer and Rosamund Haden
Taking ChancesWe at Cover2Cover Books are very excited to announce our 10th Harmony High, Taking Chances, by young writer Sicelo Kula.

Don’t miss our launch at The Book Lounge on Thursday, 18 February at 5.30 for 6 PM, where Sicelo will be chatting to legendary crime write Deon Meyer:

Join us for the launch of the latest Harmony High title Taking Chances at The Book Lounge – with Deon Meyer

We first met Sicelo through our partner organisation FunDza Literacy Trust, which ran a writing competition asking for descriptions of the difficulties of being new at university. His entry made me laugh out loud and I read a line for my colleagues: “I was no Brad Pitt; and … the only thing that kept me from being barefoot were shoes that looked like they had been patched by a blind man.” He so obviously had a fresh and original voice.

He won the writing competition, and went on to write a commissioned story for FunDza, and then to write a regular blog for FunDza called “What’s poppin, ekasi”, with topics such as “Yellow-bones rule!” Or “Where’s your swag, dawg?”

Sicelo was a fantastic writer to work with: he could take criticisms and suggestions and learn from them, but was certainly no pushover, sometimes disagreeing with us and explaining why very coherently and persuasively (it’s no surprise that he’s just completed a law degree …). He would be happy to make changes he agreed with, but never wanted our heavy hands in his work – he did the changes his way, and they were often better than our suggestions. Because of this, his style has grown and developed, and we are incredibly proud of him.

So when we were looking for a writer for this last Harmony High, with a boy as a main character, we didn’t have to look far. Sicelo took on the task with enthusiasm. And although we did work with him quite closely to keep the Harmony High feel, it is perhaps slightly different from the others with its unique Sicelo voice – including the fact that it is written in the present tense, unlike all the others which are written in the past tense.

So we are delighted to launch Taking Chances into the world, about a young boy Fundile who is making his way in the world with the help of Ta Siks, his uncle. But when Ta Siks gets involved in shady business with Fundile’s ex-best friend Sakhe, and Nosiphiwo, a girl from Fundile’s past arrives on the scene with a secret of her own, things get very very complicated, and it’s up to Fundile to sort things out …

Sicelo told his teacher at school that one day he would write a book. We are honoured that we are the publishers of his first one, and have no doubt that there will be others to follow.

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