Pretoria – Little Omphile Tswai is barely of school-going age, but can read long sentences and complicated words.
The Pretoria News caught up with the child born with impeccable intelligence traits at his aunt’s home in Mabopane. He turns 3 on July 27.
And on Monday, the little genius was at his best, showing off his proficiency in writing, reading and naming geometric shapes.
He read from books, including handwritten notebooks, and went through the alphabet, writing every letter down and giving the words attached to each.
Omphile started off with A is for Apple scribbled in typical childish writing. When he got to G, he said “G is for Glove”. He then proceeded all the way to Z for Zebra.
His language is still unformed and he talks with a lisp, which is common for children his age. Despite this, he reads and writes like an older child.
His mother Lebogang Tswai, 39, described her son as a young perfectionist who had a strong memory and continued to show a marvellous sense of curiosity in all things.
“He started murmuring slightly fluent words when he was aged just 8 months. When he was a year and two months old, he showed us what we have never seen from a kid at his age. He would wake up late at night or in the morning and voiced out different colours such as orange and geometric shapes, including rectangle, circle and others.
“Omphile has an extensive vocabulary and is sensitive; his feelings are hurt easily, especially when a person disturbs him during his time of learning.
“He does not want anyone to disturb him when he is reading or writing; if he is disturbed, he tends to shift his focus to fiddling with whatever is next to him.”
His brother, Katlego Tswai, 24, said their parents were doing all they could to ensure the child did not slack regarding his developing intelligence gift.
“We started noticing he was different when he had no interest in playing with other children. He prefers spending most of his time with older companions or adults, indoors on his education board, or on YouTube watching learning videos for toddlers.”
The boy’s aunt, Rosina Nkhoena, said that when Omphile is at kindergarten he does not participate in the same activities as other children.
“He waits for everyone to finish learning. Then he unleashes what he knows regarding early childhood education, from alphabet letters and different colour identification. He also knows almost all the general animals.
“I didn’t even know what a Rhombus shape is until he drew it and named it.”
His brother added that Omphile’s IQ and levels of intelligence had not yet been professionally measured. However, he said they were looking forward to getting better ways to nurture his early childhood intelligence. “In the coming months and years we are expecting more surprises from him such as language fluency, and we will do our part by researching more and making sure we respond to his needs adequately.
“We would not go against his interests, because for now that’s all we can do for him as a family,” he said.
Omphile was still in nappies. He eats baby food and related drinks, just like other toddlers. He has normal nap-times, like all children of his age, but is very focused on the things he wants to do. He refuses to be disturbed once he sets his mind on a task, his family says.
He displays no fear of being watched when “he gets in the mood” and does not flinch from being given words to write and words to read. The only way to stop him was by giving him a task while he was in the middle of another.