15 October 2019
Myself and Hage Mukwendje (illustrator) are pleased to announce that (finally!) we have finished and are launching the children's book "Ellie and the Desert
", which has been a labour of love for the past five years. I am reminded of Chimamanda Adichie's beautiful TED Talk on the "danger of a single story
" where she mentions how she, as a Nigerian, grew up with European children's books that were difficult to relate to. I think the more Namibian books we can have that illustrate the different aspects of our cultures, ecosystems, human and non-human friends, food and other local things can very much help our little ones understand that they are part of the system, appreciate where they live, and become proud of the heritage they share. In this vein, if you have little ones in your life, aged 3-7, we hope that you share the story with them. We wanted to make sure that it is free and available to anyone who has a phone, so anyone can just click on the link (or the photo above) and read the book. We very much hope you enjoy the story of little Ellie who gets lost in the desert and has her desert animal friends help her find her way home.
We would like to thank Esther Taapopi and her beautiful daughter Lulu for being the model for Ellie. Ellie is the nickname I gave to my first-born niece in the Braby family, and as she is growing up on the other side of the world, I dedicate this book to her (and of course her brother and two cousins) to remember her roots. Ellie and her story is loosely based on my childhood growing up with my two sisters and parents in the Skeleton Coast Park, so the desert landscapes will hold a resemblance to some of the areas in this park.
Hage and I would also like to thank Tendai Karumazondo for all the hard work he put into the layout and design for the book. Without him, this book would still be sitting in our computer folders.
Please do share as widely as you can.