Is the world described in fiction or facts?

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” This quote is by Mandela and is the most heart touching quote I’ve read during this unit where our goal was to learn about the real world through a variety of text types. We learned about apartheid in many different ways including writing a feature article about Nelson Mandela’s death, reading an historical non-fiction book called “The Journey to Jo’burg and watching a non-fiction movie called Invictus based on how Mandela changed South Africa by rugby.  This essay explains my experience with the different texts and my conclusions about them.

Grade 7 created feature articles about South Africa and there were four topics we could choose to write about South Africa in the feature article. The choices were colonialism, apartheid, the Soweto uprising and Nelson Mandela. I focused on creating a feature article about Nelson Mandela. The text type of the feature article was factual. This means I needed to write a story of Mandela using facts. The feature article communicated information about the real world in unique ways. One of the unique features about feature article is that there is a lot of solid information precisely into a minimum amount of texts. When I compared the non-fictional book “Journey to Jo’burg” to my feature article, I thought my feature article had more precise information when compared to the book. Also the feature article had a lot of strong evidence of that information. To show strong evidence in my feature article, I inserted sources of where we got the information. We can also put quotes from the anecdotes inside the feature article so that people who read the feature article can see strong evidence.

After I investigated, researched and wrote about Nelson Mandela in the feature article, 7B read a historical fiction book called “Journey to Jo’burg”. The text type of this book is historical fiction. This means that the story is based on true facts that happened in the real world but has fictional parts in it such as the character, plot and settings. “Journey to Jo’burg” communicated information about the real world in unique ways. One such example is to take the reader into the journey with the character by hooking the reader’s attention and taking the reader to a journey with Naledi and Tito to Johannesburg. It felt like I was in the story in the third person perspective. This gave the reader the ability to feel sympathy with the character. Also Historical Fiction are very interesting to read because there are character, plot, settings and problems which can be very fun to read.

After reading “Journey to Jo’burg,” 7B watched a movie called Invictus. This movie is a movie based on how Nelson Mandela used rugby to unify people in South Africa. This movie communicated information about the real world in unique ways. One such example is being able to visualizing the true events that occurred by watching the movie that relived the moment. In feature articles or historical fiction books, a lot of the times you can not visually see the events that occurred because the only way you could visualise the events that has occurred is by reading the text and imaginating them ourselves. Also by watching Invictus it felt like I was in the movie because I could visually see the characters and the events in the movie.

By creating the feature article, reading Journey to Jo’burg and watching Invictus, I learned that all text types has advantages and disadvantages and unique text styles to communicate to the reader. Also I learned a lot about South Africa and apartheid. I learned that in some places in the world people have less economic opportunities compared to others just because of their skin color and race which I thought was very sad and simply not fair however I also learned that people have very strong beliefs about these systems so its also very hard to get them to change. I saw it took  a great leader like Nelson Mandela to help the white people to change their beliefs – and to accept to change the system. What we need to think about for the problems we face today – is how we can each follow the example of Nelson Mandela to effect change and make the world a fairer place.




Journey to Jo’burg (Novel reading)




The author uses metaphors and adjectives to clearly visualize situations or objects. By doing this, the author added colors into the story and made the reader visualize things better. The part I thought the author visualized the scenes very well is in chapter eight: “There was no sitting space and it felt as if all their breath was being squeezed out of them” (50). Because of the way the author used metaphors in this sentence, I could visualize very clearly how close together the people are in the train and how strongly Naledi and Tito are squashed together. Another good example is in chapter thirteen: “His face seemed nearly as white as his coat, except for the dark shadows under his eyes”. (77) I could visualize he is a white person because the author compared the doctors skin color and the white coat. I could also tell how tired the doctor is because the author wrote “the only dark color on his face is the shadow under his eyes.”

The author also used descriptive language combined with adjectives and metaphors to make the text easier for the readers to visualize.


The connection I found between the text and the world is that people used to be treated differently because of their race and the skin color. I could clearly see a example of this in chapter six when Naledi and Tiro were just about to jump aboard, when someone shouted at them in English. “what’s wrong with you? Are you stupid. They looked up at the angry face of the bus driver and then at the bus again. White faces stared at them from inside as the bus moved off” (39).  I could tell that Naledi and Tiro couldn’t go in the bus because they were black and this is what used to happen in South Africa during 1948-1994.

The connection I found between me and Naledi is that we both are risk takers. Naledi’s risk taking attitude is shown in chapter 1: “We can get to the big road and walk,” (18). She knew the journey is going to be a very tough challenge because she had to travel 300 kilometers to arrive to Johannesburg. But she took risks to go to the journey to Johannesburg which I think is amazing.

I think I am a risk taker because I take risks in a lot of situations. Such an example is volunteering in class discussions, talking in front of the whole class. I often do this during drama, by volunteering to act in front of the whole class. I am not a very good english speaker so I think volunteering in class discussions is risky for me. Also in field studies I took a big risk by volunteering to do rock climbing. I am very scared of height so I think I took a lot of risks to do rock climbing.


The question I had after reading this book was what is going to happened after the story? Especially I am wondering what would happen to Naledi and Dineo’s future and if Dineo is going to be ill again. What persuaded me to think about this was in chapter fifteen: “Naledi fell asleep at last, picturing her first day back at school, surrounded by friends, old and new.” (89) This seemed like she was picturing something in the future and this persuaded me to think about the story after the book. If the story went on, I would want Naledi and Tito to have a good education, Naledi being able to be a successful doctor near the village and I wish Naledi. Dineo not being ill again.


The main idea this book was trying to tell us is of course about how apartheid made massive amounts of impacts to people’s livings, especially the poor non-whites people. But, the author is also trying to tell the reader how strong family bonds can make big impacts into people’s livings. You can tell this in this story because almost all person in Dineo’s family supported and helped her survive the Fever by Naledi and Tito traveling to Johannesburg to tell her to come back to the village to bringing the money for the hospital but also, all the family members who were waiting for them were cooling Dineo’s fever.


Over all I think this book was very advanced at hooking the reader’s attention and taking the reader on the journey with Naledi and Tito to Johannesburg. The author used excellent adjectives and metaphors to help visualize the text and there was a lot of connection between the text and the world because this book involved a lot of real examples of apartheid, which was a big problem for people living in South Africa. Personally I enjoyed reading this book which taught me what it feels like to live in a time period where there was apartheid but  also taught us how important family’s bonds are.

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