Book review: Luntu Masiza Tells the Truth

Luntu Masiza Tells the Truth

Penny Lorimer


Review: Marsha Bothma

Penny Lorimer’s book took me right back to when I was in high school not too long ago. I’ve learnt so much from the character Luntu Masiza and his growing pains.

Luntu lives with his partially blind and partially deaf grandmother. They both somehow grow together and learn from each other.

The story takes the form of a series of emails written by Luntu to his Grade 11 English and history teacher, Mr Bali, to fulfil a school holiday assignment.

Over the course of these emails, the reader hears the story of a particularly challenging year in Luntu’s life.

Through Luntu’s words we also access the life lessons passed on by a remarkable teacher, whose wisdom pulls Luntu back from the brink.

He has a love-hate relationship with Mr Bali. I am sure we can all remember that one teacher who was always on our case but had our best interest at heart. They share some enlightening facts, lessons that really help him with his life.

This took me to a time when I was in school and Luntu’s experience and mine are almost the same.

Most young people would relate to Luntu and his high school experience.

Luntu is a very smart boy, a bit too smart at times, but through the guidance of his teacher and his own mistakes, he slowly understands what it means to be human and to show Ubuntu.

I don’t want to reveal too much as I think the ending is worth the wait. You sort of grow with Luntu as you journey with him. There are times when he does silly things, as any naughty teenager would and you’d probably want to scold him.

There are many hard truths that are relatable in this book, which may even provide you with some ways to solve them. It had a little bit of a slow start in the beginning but turned around with some plot twists.

I’d recommend it to every parent, pupil and teacher. It should definitely be in all schools so that pupils can have some understanding of what they may experience in their high school careers, in their lives and in their homes.