Our 2018 AGM Was A Success

The year 2018 is almost over. At Dancing Pencils we do not only stages Annual Book Launches for our Writing Clubs but we thoroughly plan for them and other yearly activities. The year has been a success on its own with new partnerships. Most notable partnership has been of the Ulundi Local Municipality.

Buyani Mhlongo, His worship Cllr Ntshangase, Ulundi LM Mayor, Felicity Keats and Thandeka Ntombela of ULM

This is giving hope to our country’s terrible literacy stats. We pride ourselves for having successfully trained three Ulundi Primary Schools. This resulted in seven book titles launched, five kids authored books and two adult titles. One adult, Ms Ntombifuthi Zungu (Ulundi Local Municipality Senior Librarian) received a special training from Felicity Keats two days after the training of 100 Ulundi primary learners within them some are now published authors. The other adult is Nelly Ntshayintshayi and she’s a primary school educator in Ulundi and wrote a very interesting love story.

Nkandla Municipality is also very efficient and revived. They launched last year and this year in Ulundi Dancing Pencils Book Launch they presented their beautiful pictured municipality newsletter.

Felicity Keats Morrison compiled the report to the board members which reads as follows:


15th  October 2018 at 15.00 pm at 1 Hollings Road, Malvern


  • Membership of the board
    The membership of the board has remained the same. I am not sure if the registration of Ayanda Hlabisa and Sanelesiwe Khowa has been approved by CIPC. Our accountant often works out of the country and is very hard to contact. We have requested him to make these registrations. He has been very efficient with the accounting of the Lotto payments so we are happy with his work.
  • Attendance at meetings
    Members of the board, in general, are regular in attendance. We have had a quorum for all of our meetings.
  1. Activities during the year
    We have regularly held our board meetings and these have been interspersed with a number of informal braais and meetings to which associated people have been invited.  We have also done a number of right brain training’s in rural areas and have trained mentors at this address.

    At the end of February we had a book launch at the NSA gallery of my new book, on writing, right brain and dancing pencils. This is an important book as not only does it document progress of right brain training’s and publishing in this country, but gives information on right brain knowledge. It also has a final chapter on dancing pencils writing clubs and their value in schools.  With schools running their own clubs, they could develop their own reading material and help with literacy as students would not only read but write and learn lateral thinking skills.

    Nokuthula Sibisi (Sogidi Primary School principal), Felicity Keats, Educator and Mr Sibisi (Nokuthula’s husband) during the NSA Gallery 28th February 2018 book launch

Veena and I also made an appointment with the DOE, head office in Pretoria to present the right brain method and its success along with our training material and a method of getting this knowledge into all schools in the country to uplift our dire literacy levels. unfortunately for us, on this very day that we flew there, the official we were delegated to see was in Durban. He did not tell us and delegated a junior to meet with us. Her face confused with anger when I said we each have two brains, and suggested that we were in the wrong place and needed to start in Durban with our project. We still have not met with the dept of education who are hard to contact.

we also have met with Richard Lyon of Eshowe who has a new project called Twin2Win. In this project he intends to fund  raise in private schools in the UK to obtain the money to build classrooms in rural schools in Zululand district. He also wants to help with the dire reading levels by setting up dancing pencils reading corners in all junior schools in Zululand.  He loved our small books written in both isiZulu and English and written by small children. These he submitted to the HOD of the dept of education KZN who was delighted with them and okayed the project Richard intends to implement. Richard thinks it will take off at the start of the 2019 school year.

On April 28th the Lotto project’s financial support given to Mr Buyani Mhlongo’s arts and culture trust took place in Ulundi. It was a Zulu dance competition. As a supplementary attraction for children whilst the adults were dancing the municipality set up a large tent in which 100 children from local schools had 3 right brain writing sessions. This was done at no charge by us. We supplied paper, crayons, pens and took up a loudspeaker and a music player. This was highly successful and we took back all the stories written by the 100 children. Again at no charge our board director Detlev Diegel read all the English stories while Ayanda Hlabisa read the isiZulu stories. Six of the best were chosen and again at no charge, we edited, scanned and typeset them, thanks to Vera Castleman’s work.  These were to launch with our annual launch which was to take place in Ulundi.

This was because the Ulundi Municipality so honored our right brain training that they agreed to become our partners and to host the 2018 dancing pencils book launch in Ulundi.  In fact the Mayor of Ulundi together with a top official visited us in our venue at 1 Hollings Road Malvern to discuss an MOU with us that includes Buyani Mhlongo of the KZN Arts and Culture Trust.  The municipality also sent down three teachers from local schools and the librarian all of whom I trained as mentors at no charge.

We also, on invitation of Queen Mpume Zulu of the Queen kaMsweli primary school in Nongoma traveled there and trained the grade 6’s in right brain writing.  

Felicity Keats (Dancing Pencils) ULundi Local Municipality Deputy Mayor and Queen Nompumelelo Zulu, the Zulu Queen (principali of Queen kaMsweli primary) watching Zulu dancers in Ulundi Stadium from the VIP’s marquee on the 28th of April 2018. Ulundi KZN.

All these stories were typed by us and put into an anthology of stories.

The learners of Queen kaMsweli primary school in Nongoma during their right brained training on 18 May 2018.

There were costs involved of traveling there and staying overnight in Nongoma as well as printing books for the kings birthday and for the school.  These costs were sponsored by my son Brian in the UK. There was a great celebration in Nongoma on 27 July for the king at which the children who wrote the book performed and handed over the book to him.

Children’s voices from grade 6 Queen kaMsweli Primary School 2018 anthology

We have at this address in Malvern  trained Mentors from the Department of Education, Ladysmith at no charge. We trained mentors from the Nkandla Municipality also at this address and also at no charge. There have been other children trained here at no charge.


We also presented to the district director of Ilembe council in their offices in Stanger our training programme for schools in the Ilembe district.

The District Director was enthusiastic about the training of subject advisers and said that he had funds to pay for it. We consistently tried to establish when these training’s could take place but he went very quiet. Due to the work of our publicist, Ayanda Hlabisa, we went to Maritzburg to meet with representatives of the Office of the Premier. They were impressed with our work, and offered to get us a slot with SALGA meetings which take place bimonthly. They said the municipalities have budgets for education. They said that they could organize a meeting with the heads of Arts and Culture and the Department of Education KZN, but this didn’t happen.  It still could happen as one member has been off sick.

Ayanda Hlabisa (Board member and Publicist at Dancing Pencils), Dr LMMS Madondo (Ilembe District Director, Department of Education, Stanger) and Felicity Keats (Living Legend and Founder at Dancing Pencils) after the meeting, Ilembe District boardroom.

For this year’s launch we informed clubs they would need to travel to Ulundi rather than to Durban. Ladysmith dept of ed under Laura Kheswa did a great job in bringing to us some 10 or more contributions for publication from schools in the area. At our launch on 7 September we had clubs from Ladysmith, Estcourt, Nquthu, Nongoma, Nkandla and Ulundi. The venue was the Old Legislature building and the refreshments were provided by the municipality. It was a day of high educational achievement. Children were happy and self esteem was up.

I also spent a week in Ulundi in October. At this I trained Khethiwe Khuzwayo from Nkandla Municipality to write her own autobiography on one day, met with the director of community development, Ulundi Municipality, Thandeka Ntombela, to charter a way ahead. She also asked me to give a right brain training to senior citizens forum which I did. This was a success and the municipality will take them on as a special project.

Besides the launch in Ulundi, it became obvious we needed another supplementary launch in Durban as there were books to launch. Sogidi Primary from Ilembe have an anthology, there are 3 adults with books, 2 ten year old and a school from Ladysmith that missed the Ulundi launch. 

Road to Ingwavuma

we also aimed at honoring monthly key dates such as international language day, world book day, and youth day with special talks on radio. We also have had two press briefings during the year. These resulted in a number of newspaper interviews with publication as a result.

We also made another visit to the Ingwavuma area with Sifiso Thembani as driver. Ayanda Hlabisa accompanied us and we trained two schools in right brain methods. We have published six anthologies for the Ingwavuma area, sponsored by the Isibani Sethemba NPO who are grateful for the knowledge imparted to deep rural learners.  The pastor also wants community members published and gave us a big book of text in Zulu which needs to be typed before it can be published.

We have also donated books to the Isolezwe newspaper project where learners from five schools took place in running race.

Ayanda Hlabisa with Bawinile Ngcobo selecting books for donation to Osindisweni event at UmSinsi Press house in Malvern, KZN.

The winning school got a large donation of more than 100 books for the school. The journalist also trained at no charge and is running her own writing club which will launch next year. She later  asked me to train a teacher from Oaksford primary school in Verulam as well as her brother who will run a club for adults in the community.

Ayanda Hlabisa delivering a Dancing Pencils speech at Osindisweni, Ndwendwe

  1. LOTTO
    The payment from Lotto came through at the beginning of January and was put into the dancing pencils literacy development project account. The organization kept a tranche which would be paid when we could prove we had used the funds they allocated us in a correct manner.  From this first tranche I subtracted an amount of 10% as requested by the board and paid it into a separate call account that the bank set up. This money has kept us going as it repaid in part loans from myself and UmSinsi Press …. And again these funds have paid our expenses during this current year.  We still have not received sponsorship or funding from anyone.

    We are happy that Buyani organized a magnificent Zulu dance competition in Ulundi which took place on 28 April. That was when we did our training for 100 Zulu children.
    We had Lotto come to audit us. The representative was most impressed with what we do and asked how we fund ourselves. I had to tell her there was no funding other than what my two sons help us with an occasional contribution from UmSinsi Press book sales. The representative feels we will have a chance to apply for funding as soon as our current report is submitted. That feels like good news. We are in the final throes of getting our AFS for our NPO audited by GC Ford in Pietermaritzburg. When we receive them and the last tranche from Lotto we can submit again for sponsorship from them.
  2. We are doing our best to improve the image of the NPO. We do radio talks about the activities of dancing pencils and its members.  We are proud of our achievements. 

Felicity Keats Morrison

Founder Director
Dancing Pencils Literacy Development Project

Dancing Pencils Communications Division 2018

079 256 6725

031 464 1556


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