True Love

Historian, lecturer, PhD fellow and author of In Africa with Avi and Kumbi, Nomalanga Mkhize, aka Khize wamaZambez­i, shares the importance of knowing the history of our continent.


This book was a labour of love. It took me three years to complete it because I was doing it in my spare time and self-publishing is hard. What I also found tricky was deciding what to actually put in the book because we had space constraint­s. Having more pages meant it would have been more expensive to print the best full-colour book. The reason I wrote In Africa with Avi and Kumbi, is simple — there’s nothing like it on the market. There isn’t a book that gives a coherent view of African history from various regions for our kids. It is aimed at children aged eight to 13, who can read for themselves. I hope they’ll enjoy it, but also learn about who we are as a people. I had to be mindful of the image and narrative I wanted to convey to kids about African people. Our children are growing up in a world where we are depicted as sufferers. I had to think, ‘are we a defeated people? Are we resilient or dynamic people?’ The images had to be beautiful but intentiona­l. I find our kids know so much about the West, but not enough about

their continent. I had to make sure it’s a story about us, by us and that the Europeans are incidental to the story. Even though it’s packaged as a story, the book is actually factual.

I didn’t want it disputed in classrooms. There are some elements that flow like a story but can still be considered authoritat­ive. I hope it’s a book that will be passed down from one generation to the next.–

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