Feel Good Book helps children in informal settlements understand virus

Book helps children in informal settlements understand virus

Start of a new chapter

A Johannesburg-based writer and illustrator has produced a new children’s book on Covid-19.

But what makes Nathi Ngubane’s book different is that it tells the story of the virus through the eyes of children living in informal settlements, Daily Dispatch reports. 

Duma Says is an educational series written and illustrated by Durban-born Ngubane and produced by the experimental Social Bandit Media, based between Johannesburg and New York.

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The series is about the adventures of Duma, 10, his sister Zihle and their friends.

In Book 1, Duma Says: Wash Your Hands, Wear a Mask!, the two notice that many in the community are not wearing masks and so they make a plan to try to protect their community.

The book, which is free download, has already been widely welcomed. The department of health placed both the English and isiZulu version on their Covid-19 resource portal, while New York City’s School library system has added the book to its list of free international Covid-19 resources for children.

The book has also been translated into isiXhosa.

Ngubane, 30, has always wanted to produce a children’s book and says now was the right moment to do it.

“This was my opportunity to not only write my first children’s book, but also to write something that will be meaningful, and help educate children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds in SA and around Africa.

“These books are for children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and for those coming from more privileged backgrounds.

“Well-off children need to also learn about the lives of children less fortunate than them,” Ngubane says.

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Azad Essa, journalist and founder of Social Bandit Media, the experimental media company behind the book, says the book series was special as it centred on communities usually erased from children’s literature.

While the digital version will be free, a small batch of paperbacks will be made available for sale to select independent stores about the country. International buyers will find the book on Amazon.

All proceeds from the book will go to Open Air School in Durban, where Ngubane matriculated,.

To access the book, visit: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/2020/07/22/duma-says-wash-your-hands-wear-a-mask-isizulu-translation/

The two are running a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the book. To support their effort, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/duma-says-help-us-educate-kids-on-covid19