“In order for true inspiration to be achieved, my innocence must be set free. I can’t think of anything to do with euphemism; it needs to be in its purest form, otherwise I won’t be able to get my message across”, – Reneiloe ‘Nay’ Mabena
Seventeen-year-old Reneiloe Mabena is the latest addition to South Africa’s list of young black writers, having written and published his first book, Blaze – the beginning. Born on July 31, 1996 to parents Zandile Nzalo and Bob Mabena, the young man – also known as Nay – took an interest in writing at a very tender age.
The budding novelist was swept by inspiration to conjure the story of Blaze when he was only 12 years old. His love for television shows and anime led to the need for him to create and bring to life a masterpiece that would combine all the creative thinking behind his favourite shows. He started this journey by drawing comics and that’s when the idea came to life.
A product of IR Griffiths Primary in Blaigowrie, Nay is currently doing his grade 11 at St David’s Marist College in Inanda. His first ambition is to become an animator and his second is to study law. However writing is his first love and he is inspired by authors such as JK Rowling, Robert Muchamore and Lian Hearn, among others.
Nay is an Ambassador for Readathon and his other interests include playing basketball, rugby, sketching – and he enjoys cooking pasta. He has also completed the St David’s peer counselling programme, a course aimed at assisting students facing difficulties within and outside the school environment. The knowledge gained will provide him with the necessary skills he will apply as a counsellor in his matric year.
BLAZE – THE BEGINNING
The main character in Blaze – the beginning is Thando, a teenage boy who is possessed by a malevolent spirit. Although this spirit threatens to consume his body, it also gives him special powers, which he discovers he needs when planet Earth comes under threat from aliens. Thando faces a big decision: should he try to free himself from his demons, and risk the destruction of friends and family? Or should he use the demons’ power to save the planet?
The book is available from Porcupine Press’s website at R130, excluding postage, and will appear in major bookshops by November.