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Young fans inspire Sho Madjozi's children's book

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Internationally acclaimed singer and performer Sho Madjozi showed the depth of her artistic ability by writing a children’s book. The beautifully illustrated book, Shoma and The Stars, was released early in December.

The popular rapper, with hits songs such as Huku, Wakanda Forever and John Cena, was born in Shirley village near Elim. She goes by the stage name of Sho Madjozi, but her real name is Maya Wegerif, the daughter of Rosemary Phaweni and Marc Wegerif.

She travelled widely with her father and finished her school career in Tanzania. Madjozi then studied creative writing and African studies at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. While in the United States, she started writing poems under the pen name of MayaThePoet. The poems were about politics, identity and race.

When Madjozi returned to South Africa, she took up a fellowship in studying at the University of South Africa in Johannesburg. She began rapping and composing music under her stage name, “Sho Madjozi”. She rose to fame after her collaboration with rapper Okmalumkoolkat.

Madjozi’s newly published book contains 32 pages with stunning illustrations by well-known artist Katlego Keokgale. She said that she was encouraged by her young fans to write a book. However, the book is more than just a children’s story.

“The book is about a girl called Shoma living in a magical village in Limpopo. I was actually a writer before I was a musician, and for me it’s all the same. It’s either I’m writing lyrics and poetry or stories,” she said.

Sho Madjozi explained that after she had lost her younger sister, Makhanani ‘Nyeleti’ Maganye, in a terrible accident in 2019, she was inspired to write a book by her young admirers who became her little sisters. Thousands of girls donned vibrant Sho Madjozi braids a few days after she had lost her sister, and she refers them as “The Sho Madjozi Stars”, her youthful devotees.

“They gave me so much hope and light because they were like bright little stars when my life felt so dark. I admire how they were not scared to wear bright colours and be bright and creative,” she said.

She said that she wanted Shoma and The Stars to be a household name in children’s entertainment. “I am also passionate about giving young kids high-quality local entertainment that they love,” she said

She said that the book took her a few months to complete and is packed with vital messages. The touching story is published by Ethnikids Publishers.

Shoma and The Stars can be ordered from Ethnikids’ online store and is also available from stores such as Bargain Books, Mall of Africa and many more.

 

 
 

Maya Wegerif, widely known as Sho Madjozi, was inspired by her young fans to write a book titled Shoma and The Stars, which was released early in December. Photo supplied. 

 

By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.

 

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