Welcome to the home where curiosity lives and thrives. This is the story of how Lethukuthula Nongcebo Bhengu wowed TikTok with an ability to read at the tender age of two. It is just as much about her parents, Phakiso Masooa and Ntombikayise Bhengu’s determined spirits.

If you’re an avid TikTok or Instagram user, you have most likely come across the playful content of Lethu Nanas, who rose to fame for her incredible reading abilities. This week, we met the toddler at her home to find out a bit more about her journey.

“The name Lethukuthula means peace, bringing peace. Before her, there were a lot of things happening but when she came, she was a blessing and that’s why we named her Lethukuthula because it brought peace,” explains Phakiso. Being a tutor, Ntombikayise suggests helping children to read as young as possible so that they can learn at a gentle pace.

“The reason we wanted to teach her this early…is because we went to disadvantaged schools. I went to school where we had poor quality education, where teachers missed classes…so I had to work hard to get into university,” says Ntombikayise. 

“We didn’t want Lethu to be disadvantaged based on our pocket, we wanted her to have a quality education. When we started teaching her we used educational toys. So it wasn’t that difficult for her to focus.” Lethu’s lessons began at 16 months old, and the results were ones which Ntombikayise wanted to inspire other parents with.

“I opened TikTok towards the end of last year but we started on Instagram when she was about just under two months old, just to capture memories and then also to educate parents because we love education,” explains Ntombikayise. They then moved onto TikTok and the channel blew up after people saw her reading.

Lethu’s mom recommends starting with the most common letter sounds. Once your little one knows two or more of those sounds, make a word from those letters. “I teach Lethu how to read through teaching her the letter sounds, and then I taught her how to blend the letters sounds into words.”

Even starting at 18 months. Some lessons may only register when a child reaches two, so remember to let them just be kids. When they are not learning, Lethu and her parents love to play outside and socialise with other children.

“Every child, as young as they are, they are capable of many things so it’s up to us as parents to not dim their light,” says Phakiso, “I think it’s important how parents speak to their kids because if you undermine her, she’s going to grow up thinking that she’s not capable of anything.” 

With an enquiring mind like Lethu’s stimulated and encouraged by her parents, a head start in life is very possible.


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