Teach your kids about African history with these locally produced books

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

Local online bookstore Ethnikids was founded by five moms set on empowering African children by making diverse reading materials easily accessible.

Here, one of the founding members, Khumo Tapfumaneyi, shares her excitement for children's African history books created locally. 

Marcus Garvey once famously said that 'a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.' 

That's why we are so excited by the quality history books being produced for leisurely reading in South Africa! 

In Africa with Avi and Kumbi

book cover

Professor and historian Nomalanga Mkhize released a beautifully illustrated history book for children called In Africa with Avi and Kumbi earlier this year.

This book takes children on a journey with characters Avi and Kumbi throughout Africa.

Along the way, they cover important themes such as slavery, colonisation, migration, rock art, ancient civilisations and the struggles for independence in a child-friendly manner.

Being a mother herself - Prof Mkhize saw the gap in children's African history books that tended to focus primarily on the Egyptian narrative. This book is suitable for kids aged 8 to 11 years old and is delightful for the whole family to enjoy.

Her Story: Daughters of Modjadji/Umlando Wakhe

book cover

A great book to teach children about the inspirational stories of women in South Africa is Her Story: Daughters of Modjadji/Umlando Wakhe.

Written by phenomenal ladies Natasha Allie, Baba Tamana Gqubule and Thandiwe Matthews, this book contains the true-life stories of 30 inspirational women and women's groups from various walks of life.

The project was illustrated by schoolgirls and contains beautiful imagery, it includes the stories of Caster Semenya, Dr Judy Dlamini, Thandi Klaasen, Miriam Makeba, Ferial Haffajee and Natalie du Toit.

The book is bilingual - English on one side and isiZulu on the other, and is aimed at young readers between the ages of 7 and 12. A great read to celebrate the women that have gone before us this Women's Month!

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