Bokea Snip

Joseph Bokea. At age 13 he is arguably Kenya’s youngest novelist and he urging parents to help nurture creativity among their children from an early age (Photo: Storymoja).

Storymoja’s youngest author, Joseph Bokea (13) has appealed to parents and teachers to nurture the talents of young writers.

Speaking after the just concluded Storymoja premier regional festivals in Nakuru, Bokea said that there are many pupils and students in Kenya who have enormous talents in creative writing yet they lack personalities to nurture their skills.

“I developed the passion for writing when I attained the age of 8 which culminated to the writing of few stories in an exercise book but at some point I lost interest because I did not have someone to nurture my talent,” he told Kenya Monitor.

Citing the creative pieces that students write in Kiswahili and English compositions, they were evident that many children in Kenya have a passion in telling out their stories.

“Through the help of the language teachers the government could come up with strategies of identifying the upcoming writers so as to nurture their skills in order to come with efficient human resource.”

Bokea urged the learners to invest most of their time in reading books saying the attainment of knowledge will empower the young generation by arming them with information.

“The only way to sharpen your writing skills is through reading other authors’ articles and through that you will able to identify the techniques used in writing and as a result you will be able to come up with enriched articles.”

Bokea’s novel , Magic, is a fantasy book based on a dream he had in 2012. He said his parents played a major role in nurturing his skills through the provision of reading materials and also a conducive learning environment.

Magic snip

The fantasy novel by Bokea which is based on a dream (Photo/Storymoja).

“When I was at nursery school my mother always narrated stories before I went to bed. This prompted me to write stories in order to showcase my creativity in arts.”

Bokea said that he began writing his book at the age of 11 and it took him a period of 2 months to complete the manuscript. However the editing process which was undertaken by Storymoja publishing house took a period of 2 years because they had to involve him during holidays and free time as not interfere with his studies.

His father Cyprian Bokea who is an Economist at Strathmore Business School, Nairobi, said that from a tender age he noticed that his son had a great passion in reading and writing because within a period of three months he would read more than 40 storybooks.

“When I realized that my son loves reading I decided to enroll him at Aga Khan Academy so that he could get quality education. On top of that I started a home library for him so he could access a variety of books from different authors,” he said.

Bokea’s father said that his son had made him proud because he had become a role model to young people who are aspiring to become writers.

The young Bokea said that when he grows up he would want to be an archaeologist saying very few people had ventured into that career.

“Despite the fact I love writing when I grow up I will only take writing as a part-time job since to me it is a hobby’’.

By Lorna Abuga.