Creating safer roads from a young age is the goal of Siphesihle Mbali Mavundla (29), author of Kids on the Road, a driving manual for grade R to 7 learners.
“The ‘K53 Junior’ is about solving a bigger problem in the country – unsafe roads,” says Mavundla.
Mavundla is from KwaZulu-Natal and did her Diploma in Journalism at the Tshwane University of Technology. In her final year, she did her internship at the same university, writing for internal staff newsletters and the student magazine.
The idea for the manual came while Mavundla was working in a car service workshop and she was asked by her employer to assist high school learners to obtain their driver’s licences. Naturally, she first did as much research as she could.
Soon, Mavundla knew everything that young drivers needed to know and decided to combine this knowledge with her writing skills to produce a road safety book.
She understood that some students face language barriers and battle to grasp certain concepts and she was determined to keep the manual simple.
Mavundla hopes to have the book accredited by the Department of Basic Education so that it can be introduced to schools as part of the curriculum.
“As it stands, there is no formal education for motorists, so this book closes a gap in that area,” says Mavundla.
She believes that if youngsters learn the rules of the road at an early age, they will be better motorists when they grow up, which will lead to safer roads for all. It would also make it easier for them to get their learner and driver’s licences.
Mavundla's book which was published by The Flow Publishing House is filled with road rules and road signs. It also has a careers section to teach children about the various careers that exist in the motor industry. She says that had she known about these options at an early age, she might not have chosen to study journalism.
“The more I grow up, the more I realise that I have an unexplored curiosity and love for mechanics.”
Mavundla’s message to motorists this Transport Month is that when they are behind the wheel, they are responsible not only for their life, but for the lives of their passengers and fellow road users too. “My plea is for motorists to think beyond themselves when behind the wheel. “
Get hold of Mbali Mavundla on 072 675 4093 or visit https://paystack.shop/kids-on-the-road to order the K53 junior. The book is R250 and will be delivered to your nearest PEP. Delivery charges apply. Facebook: Kids on the Road