Introducing Lethukuthula Bhengu: The three-year-old toddler from Soweto who amazed the world with her exceptional reading skills
Lethu gained worldwide recognition after a video showcasing her impressive reading abilities went viral on TikTok, garnering over three million likes. Her parents, Ntombikayise and Phakiso, founded Mini Brainiacs, a company that offers educational materials like reading and counting cards, books, and puzzles and is dedicated to early childhood education as reported by Briefly.
Starting at the age of two, they taught Lethu phonetics, helping her sound out letters and simple words.
Lethu’s parents first noticed her interest in learning when she was just 16 months old, teaching her about the human body before progressing to shapes, colours, and drawing. Then, after watching Lethu playing a game on her cousin’s phone, Ntombikayise taught her how to read, and Lethu quickly progressed from memorizing three-letter words to reading sentences fluently.
Together, Lethu’s parents create content for her on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where their family account @lethu_nanas has amassed over 924,000 followers. Last year, Nickelodeon contacted Lethu’s family via Instagram to notify them of her nomination for the Kids’ Choice Awards, which she went on to win. Phakiso mentioned that Lethu was ecstatic to receive the award, posing with a mock-up blimp trophy at the awards watch party, with the actual award set to arrive from the US in a few months.
According to Lethu’s mother, Ntombikayise, her daughter’s remarkable talent has garnered so much attention because learning to read can be challenging, even for older kids, making it all the more surprising that a two-year-old could do it with such ease.
Photo: Instagram / @Lethukuthula Nongcebo