A Bayview boy used his time wisely when the world was locked down due to the pandemic by penning his experiences which have now been published.
Tyler Abrahams, 15, in Grade 10 at Rocklands High School, launched The Pandemic & the Grade 9 Learner at the school on Tuesday April 13.
Tyler’s book started out as ordinary diary entries, which he started writing when the lockdown started in March last year. He wrote most of his pieces over a period of two months while at home and at his grandmother’s house, he said.
While he never imagined it would be published, he gave his rough draft to a publisher. “I really wanted people to relate to the book and share in the same experiences as me and let other children know that they are not alone. I am grateful and thankful for everyone who came to support me through this journey,” he said.
“My parents have been a great support in my book writing.”
The book is 92 pages long and was published by All Nations Helping Hands Publishers based in Steenberg.
Tyler’s mom Monique Chadwick, also a former Rocklands High pupil, said at first she didn’t take Tyler seriously when he said he was writing a book.
“(When) Tyler came to me and said he was writing a book, I didn’t believe him at first but saw that he was taking his journey seriously as he went along.
“Everything he went through he wrote down on paper, working through his book writing journey with us and also guiding us as his parents. We’re also learning with him. We are so proud of how far he has come,” she said.
“In this pandemic, it wasn’t easy for us, it was challenging. Tyler put in the work. We appreciate everyone who has worked alongside him to make this book possible,” she said.
He has a little brother Hezekiah Chadwick, 3, “he will be inspiring his brother to also follow In his footsteps,” she added.
Tyler’s father, Graham Chadwick, said he always makes them proud in what he takes on.
“I am grateful that he is our son. He always makes us proud in the things he does. I always tell him not to be perfect, but to be great. He is very important to us in the family. In this book he wrote, he is the hero in his own story,” said Mr Chadwick.
Deputy principal and Tyler’s former Afrikaans teacher, Zarina Damon, said the school turns 41 this year and Tyler’s book launch forms part of the school’s legacy projects. “He will soar to great heights. We are grateful and proud to be part of Tyler’s journey. Thank you to his parents for sharing him with us,” she said.
Author of Living Coloured, Yusuf Daniels, said it warmed his heart to see Tyler’s journey. “This is what we are trying to do, whether we are young or old, we can write. If you don’t have a support structure, you will go nowhere. We are too scared to tell our stories, it’s never too late. Don’t be scared. Keep on encouraging your children and push them,” he said.
Author of self-published autobiography entitled Not Out and co-author of Lulu, Rodney Brown, said there were “not many Tyler Abrahams” in the country but from today you will know the name Tyler Abrahams as a young author.
“If you haven’t done anything during the pandemic, you’ve wasted time. Time is precious and something we don’t have much of. Tyler used his time to write a book. Tyler means doorkeeper of ink, he has laid the foundation for his peers and those who come after him. Tyler, jy is ’n yster,” he said.
One of Tyler’s teachers, Vivienne Roberts said Tyler had made lemonade out of lemons, by writing his book and “we are so proud of him”.
They’ve lost family members during the pandemic and to help them through it were their church leaders Pastor Desmond Miller and Nicole Miller from Al-Kos Ministries in Green Point. “They have been a great help to us,” said Ms Chadwick.
Director of All Nations Helping Hands Publishers, Brandon Lottering said Tyler’ work was good and so they guided him with his book.
His collegue, Kim Lottering, added: “Covid-19 came upon us unexpectedly and affected us in every way. We did not think how it may have affected our children. He is our youngest author. Tyler het ons almal uitgeklok in die tyd. Ons is baie trots op hom,” she said.
If you would like to purchase his book at R150, contact Ms Chadwick at 061 607 0410 for more information.