The Star Early Edition

Zulu children’s book about Covid-19 released


SOCIAL work lecturer Dr Maud Mthembu from UKZN’s School of Applied Human Sciences recently led a team that wrote a children’s book about Covid-19 – in Zulu, and told from a child’s prespectiv­e.

Titled Uhambo lwami ngesikhath­i sekhovithi – My journey during Covid-19, the book tells the story of Nsimu, a 10-year-old whose family was affected by Covid-19 and the impact the disease had on the family.

“When writing stories for children, the context and setting of the story matter, and this book tells the story from the perspectiv­e of a child from rural areas.

“All children, including those from rural areas, can identify with the story and understand the impact of the pandemic on their lives.

“Despite the low Covid-19-related deaths among children, many have lost their caregivers or family members due to the virus,” said Mthembu.

She believes the book is appropriat­e for initiating Covid-19-related conversati­ons with children and helping them express their experience­s, feelings and loss using child-friendly language.

Mthembu also partnered with Lulisandla Kumntwana, an NGO from Mseleni, to distribute 400 books to children affected by Covid-19.

“We are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service and Fachhochsc­hule for the financial support received to write the book,” she said.

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