I have to share this exciting news with you all. Last Monday we found out that one of my books “Sibo on the Move” got an award. Actually it got two awards – one national and one international. How cool is that?
The funniest was that we had no idea it had even been entered into any competitions. So the whole thing came as a total surprise when Ingrid Jensen (Executive Manager Reputation at Gautrain Management Agency) called to say that they had won awards for the book in the category of writing.
For those who don’t know, this book was commissioned by the Gautrain a few years ago and the topic was etiquette whilst using public transport.
In a nutshell – manners!
The Gautrain is very spiffy. Clean, safe and lovely to travel in and it’s important to keep it that way. People sometimes forget or just don’t care that they’re sharing a public space with other travelers and it is vital to be considerate. Little things, like not talking, or listening to music too loudly. Or not putting your feet on the seat – so that when the next person sits on it, they get their clothes dirty.
Worse… aaarrrgghhhh… seriously gross… sticking old chewed gum under the seat! Oh my word – that is just so gross.
There are also special spaces on the Gautrain for people with disabilities, to make life a little easier and safer for them. Able-bodied people should not sit there. Just don’t do it… okay?
Gautrain is very safety conscious too. If you have travelled on the train, you’ll know that there is a yellow line on the platform that you have to wait behind when a train is approaching. (This is for your safety – not because they want to be mean.) Once the train stops – the correct etiquette is to let the other passengers get off the train first. But all too often people are worried that they are going to miss the train – or they’re just plain rude – and they barge in without even thinking about the poor folk who are trying to get out.
Seriously people – it’s not hard. Just be considerate. Be kind. Be nice. It costs absolutely nothing and it makes such a difference. This goes for all public transport.
The National award was called the Silver Quill Award and the International one was called the Gold Quill Award of Excellence.
Remember last week I told you that it was International Literacy Day on the 8th of September! Well, I am super stoked. My latest book – Sibo on the Move – which is all about the Gautrain and how you should behave when you travel on public transport – is being launched on this very day in the Rosebank Gautrain Station.
How cool is that!
Wait! I hear you say… how on earth did you, Sibo, get to write a book about the Gautrain?
Actually it’s quite a funny story. We were busy with the road safety book – Sibo Looks Right. Not sure if you remember but actually we crowdfunded for this book so that we could share it with as many kids as possible. Sadly we did not get enough money to print thousands of copies to distribute – but we did print a few and share them around the place. Plus of course the e-book is on my website for anybody to freely read.
Magically (there was a bit more to it than that – but we’ll leave it there) Gautrain got to hear about my road safety book and asked us all to a meeting. We thought that maybe they wanted to donate some money towards this book but it turned out, in fact, that they wanted their own Sibo book.
This is the book that is going to be launched on the 8th of September. Actually it is also going to be used for transport month. This happens in October every year. There is a serious drive in Jozi to minimize traffic on the roads and everybody is encouraged to use public transport as much as possible.
In fact – to make sure that people actually do this, some of the roads are closed off – so that people have to use public transport to get where they want to go – or walk!
This is part of the reason that Sibo on the Move was written – to help people remember that there is some etiquette to be adhered to when travelling on trains and buses.
Simple things like…
don’t listen to loud music
don’t put your feet on the seats
don’t sit in the seats that are allocated for the disabled or elderly
wait until people get off the train or bus before you jump on… and
eergghhhh – never ever stick chewing gum under the seat – that is beyond gross.
Travel safely people!
PS – If you want to read this book – it’s also freely available on www.sibo.co.za – just click on the cover of the book.