IsiXhosa writer will be remembered for loving children

According to his family, Cebo Solombela (34) will be remembered as a people person who appreciated his Xhosa language and was a writer, poet, and storyteller.

Solombela, a resident of Zazulwana in Butterworth, died last Wednesday after a brief illness.

Mafuzandile Blues Solombela, a member of the family, told this newspaper that talking about Cebo’s death with I’solezwe lesiXhosa feels like a dream because he has not fully processed Cebo’s death.

He stated that they had no idea he would not finish this December because he was a person who enjoyed life despite the difficulties he faced.

Cebo Solombela working with children.

“We are devastated by my brother’s death; it is unbelievable. We expected to grow old together, but that did not happen. Yes, he faced difficulties, we cannot deny that, because not having a full-time job worried him, even though he would get part-time projects in schools.

“When we were there, we spent a lot of time together. I am confused, it’s a loss, and it was sudden because he never showed anything, even though we know his unemployment worried him,” Solombela said.

It is reported that Cebo was a well-known and well-liked member of the community.

Cebo is well-known in isiXhosa literature. He is the author of children’s books, which are already being used in KwaBhaca (Mount Frere) schools.

Cebo was one of the organisers of the Puku Project in Makhanda, which gave young school children the opportunity to read isiXhosa books and poetry.

He also worked as a promoter of the isiXhosa language in reading and writing with the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, working with children from Qunu, Mqanduli, Bizana, and KwaBhaca.

He also collaborated with Sifunda Kunye in Keiskammahoek, where he introduced reading materials and established reading groups for isiXhosa stories. His passion for isiXhosa began when he was young, reading isiXhosa news on Khanya FM in his hometown.

Isihobe Isidlo Somphefumlo is the title of his book. Bantu Child Books (PTY) LTD is his publishing company.

On Saturday, December 17, he will be laid to rest in Zazulwana, Butterworth.