Teen author pens road safety tool for children

Teen author, cum junior Member of Parliament for Gweru urban constituency Nicole Runako Mundondo

TEEN author, cum junior Member of Parliament for Gweru urban constituency Nicole Runako Mundondo has published Play It Safe, a children’s handbook on traffic safety rules.

The book, which is Mundondo’s second publication, was launched over the weekend (Saturday) at Milan Restaurant in Gweru.

The 15-year-old author, who is also the Junior Mines and Mining Development minister told NewsDay Life & Style that the book was a tool guide inspired by the desire to educate young people on road safety.

“The book Play It Safe is a close pal for children and traffic safety resource book that is going to help educate them on being safe on the roads as pedestrians, passengers in cars or as cyclists,” noted Mundondo.

“Just looking at the roads, it came to my mind that they should be made a safe space, so why not start instilling in our future drivers (children) how to keep themselves and others safe on the roads.”

Recalling the book’s writing process, Mundondo said it was a rollercoaster ride.

“Writing this book, I have been back and forth editing and chatting with my team, planning and preparing, but overall, I am so excited to have published and launched the book,” she said.

“It is my hope that the future generation has it down when it comes to road safety and I believe the book will help in ensuring that. Everything that is around me inspires me to write because it is the little things that help me create big works of art.”

She expressed her excitement to be with all her family and friends who always support her.

“I am so grateful to God, my family, team and friends for showing me such unwavering support during this time,” she said

Mundondo’s debut book titled Destiny’s theme is that no matter what one faces in life, he or she must not give up, but must keep trying.

“As the title suggests, Destiny is all about finding your own, going through the ups and downs of life all in the hopes that one day, it would all turn out the way one hopes. That is, however, not always the case,” she noted.

“Also, the book, through the way characters fight against the challenges of life, shows how one can shake off the dust and pick himself or herself up again.”

The teen author said she considers writing as a lifestyle and brings a sense of peace, and an eye opener.

“When I write, my mind is opened to things I thought I knew all about and makes me realise there is still a lot I don’t know about. My characters speak to me, they become real life characters and so I guess I can say writing is my world,” she noted.

Mundondo describes herself as a teen trying to find her way in a world full of trials and tribulations, but all in all trusting in God to make it through life.

“Nothing can come my way that I cannot handle. A noveholic, as I like to define myself, a foodie, who enjoys being at the giving end of food and not the receiving end, a screenwriter and designer,” she explained.

Mundondo also indicated that her writing changes from time to time, depending on the type of work she will be dealing on.

“Sometimes it is the title first and then sometimes it is the ending first, no matter how I start, it all comes down to the content that is in the middle. It comes down to what is in between the two covers,” she said.

“Research is not always hard, thanks to the use of technology and also just the world around us.”

Mundondo dreams of writing a cookbook and attending a cooking class.

She also added: “To other writers I say keep writing, we have the power to make the world what we want as artists through our ability to tackle day to day issues by art, trusting the process.

“Dry spells and losing documents, these are some struggles we go through as writers to name, but a few. However, if you trust the process and God, it will all come together.”

Follow Christine on Twitter @Ruten3Christine

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