'Frankie Learns To Fly' author tackles representation in his latest offering Bhubesi

accreditation
"It doesn't matter what people say about you, or if you look different, what matters is who you really are."
"It doesn't matter what people say about you, or if you look different, what matters is who you really are."

Bhubesi tells the story of a little girl who lives in a world where no one looks like her, until one day she goes on a journey with a mysterious lion who takes her on an African adventure. 

This children's story is written by South African author Johann Van der Walt, who told Parent24 that he drew inspiration from multiple sources. 

"There is no single person who inspired this, but there are key people who became inspiration along the way. Seeing that African child with her Frozen costume really made me wonder if she would rather have wanted to be in a costume of someone that looks like her, and is the same age as her," explains Johann. 

The writer says his own "conservative" upbringing was also incorporated into the story's main message "that it doesn't matter what people say about you, or if you look different: what matters is who you really are."

The Free State-born writer, who works in media and news, says that there is a major lack of representation in children's stories and that Bhubesi is his contribution to addressing this important need. 

"Bhubesi is a representation of a child that is not the standard so to speak, so every child of colour will find something to relate to in this story." 

Find Bhubesi here

Chat back:

Share your story with us, and we could publish your letter. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24