Meet the boy who could read and write at the age of one

Meet the boy who could read and write at the age of one

Is Omphile Tswai Africa’s youngest genius? His mom says she is engaging with doctors to have his IQ tested.

Omphile Tswai
Omphile Tswai/ YouTube screenshot

The three-year-old, who resides in Daveyton, learned how to read and write before he was one.

“I noticed when Omphile was eight months that he has special abilities,” Lebogang Tswai, Omphile’s mother, says.

“When Omphile was one, we went to a church conference where there was an unveiling of the plaque. Omphile surprised everyone there by reading all that was engraved on the plaque.

“Even now when I walk with him on the streets, when he sees a person wearing a written t-shirt, he will read what’s written on it, and this always gets the attention of people."

At 18 months, the mom says he could already build words by using letters, and at age two he could read sentences.

Omphile’s love for education

Unlike other children, Omphile doesn’t like to play games, and would rather spend his time watching educational videos on YouTube.

“He gets bored very quickly when playing games, but he can watch educational YouTube videos for hours without disturbance. If you give him a car toy, he would rather dismantle it to see what is inside than to play with it,” says Lebogang.

“His toys are alphabets and shapes."

“He goes to a local daycare, and even the teachers there say he doesn’t want to engage in games but would rather sit at a corner and write. But what they say it most shocking is that at the end of the day, he is able to recite the things that the other children learned even though he was not engaging in the activities,” says Lebogang.

How Omphile learned to read and write

When asked whether she devoted her time to teaching her child how to read and write, Lebogang says she can’t take the credit.

“Omphile learned to read and write by watching YouTube videos. You can call out letters and he will build it into a word, regardless of how difficult the word is,” says Lebogang.

“He also hates it when we get something wrong. For instance, if I am counting and skip a number, he would shout that I am wrong and say the correct numbers."

Omphile’s other special gift…

Omphile is not only a genius, but is ambidextrous.

“Omphile is both left and right-handed. He can write with both hands and you can’t tell which hand he used, because the handwriting is the same regardless of the hand he used,” says Lebogang.

The mom says she has big plans for her child.

“Omphile currently goes to a local day care, because I am unemployed and haven’t been able to take him to a good school. But I wish he could go to a good school. He must just continue to be the best,” says the proud mother. 

READ: “My learning disability didn’t stop me from becoming a lawyer”

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