Dr Sipho Lombo, Nqobile and Lwazi Lombo by Felicity Keats

Dr Sipho Lombo was in the Durban South Department of Education in 1997 when I first met him. To highlight difficulties in deep rural areas, he was instrumental in finding a rural school down the south coast that could only be accessed through a river.

We gave 50 books of our first sponsorship to this school and created a video to show people how teachers in some schools go to school, wading through a river, then drying off their feet and putting on their shoes.

Dr Lombo also organized for me to give right brain training for teachers in schools. This took place in Truro house with some 87 teachers present. I still distinctly remember the passage that Sipho wrote – vividly describing mine workers, sweaty from a day’s work, in a taxi on their way home.

Sipho became an enthusiast for right brain creative writing, and at a later stage, his daughter Nqobile, then eight years of age, joined my Trevean Dancing Pencils writing Club and started writing. Her first book had the unusual title of “The Diamond Stoned Eyes.”

Her next book when she was still in junior primary school was a collection of short stories, all illustrated in colour and called “Sham the winner and Other Stories.” Then she got truly daring and wrote a 40 page book called “The Elusive Life of Eloquent Carry Dawning.” This was about a down-beat girl and her life of upsets, very different from that of Nqobile. She designed the cover so beautifully that I thought she had taken it from a magazine.

When her younger sister Lwazi also joined the Trevean Junior Dancing Pencils Writing Club and wrote “The Girl with no Hair.” She was most impressed to find it listed on websites in other countries – but that is what happens almost automatically. This then is marketing! Not sales!

Nqobile and the Lombo family moved to the Eastern Cape and to a degree I lost touch with them.

However, Dr Lombo wrote the foreword in my second book, “I DO NOT think therefore I am”. He had been employed as Advisor and Speech Writer for the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Ms Nosimo Balindlela, and he told me he used his right brain to write those speeches.

Nqobile also remembered her love of writing and being published, and organised a Dancing Pencils Writing club in her school in the Eastern Cape. She also sent in poems which she edited and arranged herself so that the school had a published book of poetry.

Today, Nqobile is in her third year of Architecture degree at Wits University, while Lwazi is in her first year MBCHB degree at Wits as well.

In a Dancing Pencils magazine some seven years ago, as a parent Dr Lombo wrote what an effect being in the Dancing Pencils Writing Club and using right brain techniques had had on his daughter who was able to communicate and think in a much broader and deeper way.

We wish the Lombo family every success! The photo shows the family with their mother, Thula, who is a Deputy Education Specialist in the Eastern Cape Department of Education while Sipho is now the Director for Quality Promotion and Standards in the same Department.

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