Johannesburg - Professor and historian Nomalanga Mkhize had a difficult time finding reading material on African history books for children.
“As a mother I recognise there is not enough material that reflects positive things around black children in Africa in African languages and I am about trying to fill in that gap with storybooks. With this specific one, I found that the history books we did find were almost exclusively based on Egypt.”
Mkhize is the author of the history book “In Africa with Avi and Kumbi” and it tells the story of Africa from ancient times to independence. Published under her pen name ‘Khize wamaZambezi’, the book covers important themes such as rock art, the rise of ancient civilisations and ancient trade, African philosophy, slavery, colonialism and struggles for independence.
Choosing themes for the book was a difficult task for Mkhize and her partners, art illustrator Sani Singaphi and designer Bulelani Booi.
“It was a process, thinking how we were going to write millions of years of history or information around the development of life around the continent. It came down to what I thought would be foundational for kids. If you look at the book, the themes that are there are foundational knowledge for children and adults.”