On Saturday, 11 March I attended the first installment of the #BookamosoBookClubTour by joining the Bookwormers Book Club ladies in Pretoria.

I was welcomed with open arms by the month’s host Jeanette Sejamoholo, who had prepared a hearty meal and the ladies all brought snacks, and cake as they had been planning to surprise Jeanette for her 40th birthday. So there was food galore, I even left with a takeaway stew and cake. Jeanette gave a history of the Bookwormers, profiling the causes they have worked closely with over the past couple of years. Each year, the Bookwormers ladies choose a cause to assist.

This book club is special in that they pride themselves in how they invite the authors – and most of their reviews, they have invited an author. This particular meeting was graced by Mama Nomavenda, a respected journalist and author of Eyes In The Night with her daughter Sibongile Malebo. The club also has author of three books, Tumelo Moleleki as a regular visitor. We were also joined by Mme Zodwa, who is a former boss and mentor to Jeanette the host.

The afternoon involved discussions about the book from the writing process, the struggles to get to the finished product and the author encouraging us to write our own stories. So that when our children are older, they’re able to know what happened to their parents and grandparents.

Following her grandmother’s funeral, she asked her sister why their mom never spoke about her mother. She told her that it was because their grandmother’s story was too sad. That’s when Nomavenda decided to write about her grandmother during the Anglo-Zulu War. The fact that I haven’t read the book didn’t make me feel left out of the conversation. We discussed her previous work which was released overseas in 1989 by Freedom House, publishing, Christianity, land issue, politics, and she even candidly attempted to poach members to form her own book club in the West Rand.

Following the discussions around the book, we were graced by the lovely Mulalo Rathando. Who has a talent of making beads under the name Larrisa Accessories (do check out her beautiful work on FB and IG). The ladies most definitely had a great time trying out her beads and buying some for future book events.

A lovely afternoon spent with women who love reading, and changing the community one book at a time. Will definitely be joining the ladies of Bookwormers soon as I have been playing around the idea of adopting them as my book club home. And I’m assured by Lorraine as chairperson of the club that I’m always welcome.

If you run a book club and you would like me to join you and profile your club, please email me on omphile@bookamoso.co.za