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Virtual Visit with Author Beverley Naidoo

Published on 01/12/23

Year 6 were treated to a virtual visit with the author, Beverley Naidoo. Year 6 pupils are currently studying Beverley Naidoo’s novel Journey to Jo’burg.

Beverley started by setting the scene of what life was like in South Africa post WW2. She explained how the government did not want to bring the outside world into South Africa. She shared a picture of a farm where she spent time as a child, which was inspirational to her in her writing. The pupils were able to imagine that the setting of the book was there. They could see the rows of orange trees in the distance and as they watched this, Beverley read a chapter of her book.

Jo’burg was known as ‘The City of Gold’. Beverly talked to the children about the inequalities around gold mining in Jo’burg and also about how people, who lived in poverty, were more likely to have suffered from tuberculosis (TB). She then went on to discuss Apartheid. Following the war, in 1948, Beverley told us that a sizeable number of South Africans with European heritage decided to support racist ideologies; much of the South African government had been supporters of the Nazis. Only white people were able to vote and they voted for racism to be a part of everyday life in South Africa.

Beverley answered questions from the children. She explained how her experiences in her past had woven their way into her books. She encouraged the pupils to challenge views that they do not agree with and to really think about the world around them.

She encouraged the pupils to perform a poem about freedom with her. She then read an extract from her new book, ‘Children of the Stone City’.

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