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The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.

Seen and heard: Q&A with Stacey Fru

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At five years old, Stacey Fru learned how to read. Three years later, she published her first book. Seriously.

Today the eight-year-old writes stories, does motivational talks and generally shows the world that kids can be pretty awesome if you let them. We found out what its like to be of SA’s youngest authors.

How did you get into reading at such a young age?
I had an older brother who sometimes taught me how. Actually, I have one sister and two brothers and we’re very close. Once I started reading I couldn’t get enough of it. I like reading what other people write.

What do you enjoy about writing?

The joy is in the thing you write. I like to express myself.

What inspires you to motivate people with your talks?
I hope to get people to read and write, because these things have given me a lot of joy. They can give the same to other people, too. I think if I do the talks correctly I can make people proud and motivate them. Maybe they will start reading and writing.

You’re very close to your parents… What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt from them?
You should have a balance in life. You should do a lot of hard work, but you should also have time to chill and a chance to eat. Too much of anything is not a good idea.

How did you come up with the name of your book, Smelly Cats?
At first I thought of “smelly” because it’s exciting. And I thought of “cats” because they’re energetic and can climb walls and see in the dark.

What’s the book about?

It’s about two cats who are cousins. The cats come from the same family but they’re different and fight constantly.

What message do you want people to take away from it?
That life is not a bed of hatred. When you fight you can get back together. And at the end of the fight you can learn what’s right and what’s wrong. People don’t have to stay angry forever.

We hear you also play music. Do you see yourself getting into that one day?
I play the guitar, but I want to be a doctor. So I will keep the guitar stuff personal.

Catch up with Stacey at www.staceyfru.co.za or www.facebook.com/staceyfru.

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