Postgraduate receives international recognition for her self-published book.

A Wits honours student has won the 2019 AfriCAN Author Award at the Wanderers Club in Illovo in July this year.

Octavia Masipa received the international award for her second-published book, Architecture of Faith, Obedience & Restoration, which focuses on her religion and how it is has helped her in her life.

Masipa’s winning book was published in 2016 and is a mix of prose, poetry and biblical allegories which convey the religious beliefs that kept her going in the most challenging circumstances of her life. The book does not adhere to a strict story line but is more of a sermon in terms of its style.

“This is like a manual to guide you on how to build a relationship to god rather than procedures or religious laws,” said Masipa.

Octavia Masipa has received an AfriCAN Author Award for her book, Architecture of Faith, Obedience & Restoration. Photo: Ortal Hadad.

Masipa said she was particularly inspired by a time an incident when she was in Grade five when she temporarily lost the ability to walk for two months.

“I went to the doctors and they told me there was nothing wrong with me,” said the 22-year-old publishing studies student.

She said it was the prayers of her pastors and parent as well as fasting that led her to recovery. She believes “the reason behind me being crippled was for me to know that God exists and that he can heal”.

The AfriCAN Author Awards was introduced by Anthea Thyssen-Ambursley through her NGO, AfriCAN child your time is now. The award aims to promote ordinary people’s stories of healing, unity and restoration. This year 6 African countries: South Africa, Gabon, Swaziland, Botswana, Nigeria and Cameroon were represented by the selection of the 41 awardees.

Thyssen-Ambursley told Wits Vuvuzela, “We just want a story that was written from the heart, their pain and also the motivation behind it for writing the story.”

Colleen Dawson,  one of Masipa’s lecturers, said her student is very confident and sure of where she is going with her life. Dawson described Masipa’s writing style as “chatty, friendly and easy”.

Masipa’s childhood friend, Madikana Phala, who is a Wits education student said, “She doesn’t allow her circumstances and background to determine her future or how she is to write her books”.

The young student, originally from Limpopo, was pushed to publish her writings because of her pastor, Reginald Manthata. Masipa says she hopes to start her own publishing company one day.