While several 11-year-olds spend their time in school and most of their leisure hanging out with friends, 11-year-old Stacey Fey spends most of her time writing stories for people her age. The 11-year-old is currently working on her 5th book after gaining literary successes and several awards to her name.
Born on February 16, 2007, in Johannesburg, Stacey began reading at a very early age and picked up the pen to write her own book as early as the age of 7 even before her parents had an idea of their daughter’s impressive writing skills and determination to write books.
Her first book, Smelly Cats was published in 2015 just before she turned 8 and was widely accepted. Smelly Cats, a 108-page illustrated book portrays the common challenges of different socio-economic, academic and religious backgrounds in which the two cousin cats survived portraying the differences in geographical locations that the two went through on a daily basis and how this affected their daily lives.
After the tremendous success of Smelly Cats, Stacey quickly went to work on her second book, Bob and the Snake which explores the relationship between children and animals through young Bob and the adventurous yet emotional connection he had with a snake.
Her skill in telling captivating stories through rather serious themes has earned her several awards such as the 2016 NDA in the ‘Best ECD Publication 2015: Special Mention’ Category for her first book, the
‘Young Leader 2016’ award, Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young Most Influential South African 2016 and the Runner-up at the Victor Basadi Awards in the Young Dignitary Category for 2017.
In 2016, the South African Department of Basic Education put her books on its approved list for young learners. Stacey also went on a school tour reading with her peers and discussing her book to grow the youths interest in reading.
At the age of 10, in 2017, she became an artist-ambassador for Save the Children, traveling around the country promoting literacy in schools.
Stacey has also been invited to several youth programs to give speeches encouraging more children to express themselves through writing.
Speaking to Reuters about her writing career, Stacey said, “I find it very fun and nice … but also sometimes, I do not really like the attention because it just gets so overwhelming at times.”
Now 12 years old, Stacey is working on two new books “Where’s Tammy”, and “Tim’s Answer”. “Where’s Tammy” focuses on the role of a parent in a child’s life through the story of Tammy who goes missing because of her dad’s carelessness while “Tim’s Answer”explores the effect of Westernization on African youth.
Aside from writing, Stacey attends school and runs her own NGO that supports young kids in rural communities providing items such as books, computers, clothing and food through the several individuals and organisations she works with.
In 2016, she became the youngest founding member of the Wits University Centre for Multilingual Education and Literacy. Her father,
Dr Emmanuel Fru has a PhD in political science and her mother, Victorine Shu, has a Masters in Communication.