An eight-year-old South African boy has written a book about bullying, following his own struggles.
"I got bullied in Grade Zero and Grade 1, and I could only express myself through writing. It's not really that bad — I got pushed, punched in the stomach," Lelo Kingston Mofokeng said.
When asked how he felt about being bullied, his response was "very sad, very scared — I just hid under tables".
Mofokeng was a guest on the Fresh Breakfast show on MetroFM on Wednesday morning.
Don't be the one responsible for another kid taking their life. Be nice to others, and they will be nice to you.
After encountering bullying, Mofokeng would jot down his feelings — and one day his mother decided that it would be a good idea to publish his thought and experiences.
"One day my mom caught me writing my feelings in a book, and then she told me I should publish it, so I can help other people."
Here is some advice from him about what children who are experiencing bullying should do:
1. Do not keep it to yourself
He urges children to open up to their parents or teachers if they are being bullied.
"My mom basically helped me. I told her, and then she said she wanted to give the bully a piece of her mind," he said.
2. Never hurt or blame yourself
He speaks about the alarming suicide rate among young people because of bullying.
"Lots of kids kill themselves because they cannot handle being bullied," he said.
3. Stay positive things will get better
The young author encourages young people to focus on the positive, rather than the bullying.
Eight year old Lelo Mofokeng speaks to Polity about his book 'How I Survived Bullying'. FULL INTERVIEW: https://t.co/YImc2ZKTP0 Get a copy of his book by contacting his mom @leeyahra firstname.lastname@example.org 0828300121. pic.twitter.com/bBlfVp4gNY— Polity.org.za (@PolityZA) May 29, 2018
Mofokeng also had a message for bullies.
"Please stop bullying others, because you don't realise just how much pain and hurt you are causing to another person and their family," he said.
"Don't be the one responsible for another kid taking their life. Be nice to others, and they will be nice to you. If you have a sad heart, talk to someone like a teacher or your family member."
This week, South Africans are observing Child Protection Week under the theme "Let us all protect children moving South Africa forward".
According to Childline, it received more than 300,000 calls in the 2017/2018 year, and close to 40 percent of those calls were about emotional abuse.
From those incidents reported, almost five percent were related to bullying.