Cape Town-based Metro FM award nominee and popular musician has released an educational album accompanied by a children’s book with the aim of normalising South African language learning in schools.
Hitmaker Lungi Naidoo has released a book titled, “Rainbow Nation Kids” with illustrations by Anja Stoeckigt that aims to embed representation in the African child.
Naidoo said it was important for African children to see themselves represented and portrayed in literature, and have books in their mother tongue.
“It is equally important for other nationalities to learn our African languages. Recently we’ve had international orders. A mother in Dubai said she bought her son the book and it was important for her son to learn languages. We also have orders from schools in Canada,” she said.
Naidoo’s digital masterpiece comes in the form of a barcoded book that can be scanned with a smartphone and directly leads the reader to digital platforms that lead to music accompanying the book.
“Once the book is scanned via a smartphone it will lead you to spotify, apple music and YouTube. You can choose a platform convenient to you and a list of songs will appear as per the book sequence,” she said.
Naidoo said the book was currently published in IsiZulu and the pilot roll-out was in 10 schools in KZN.
“We’re rolling out the book with the Department of Basic Education in rural KZN. We are in talks with Western Cape Department of Education and to have the book rolled out in isiXhosa. We have more plans of diversifying the South African languages in our book series,” she said.
Stoeckigt said she was grateful for Naidoo’s hand that never left her while illustrating the book and said Naidoo would guide her in ensuring the African child was represented.
“Lungi would give me visual references and go to the extent of advising which skin tones and colours to use, to ensure the African child was represented,” she said.
South African music legend, Yvonne Chaka Chaka said about the book: “I am so delighted Nokulunga (Lungi) saw the need to educate our children about these important rhymes. We need to know and appreciate who we are and where we come from. A learning nation is a better nation,” she said.
The book can be bought at local book stores or ordered online at www.rainbownationkids.co.za.