“A beautiful book and beautifully illustrated as well… It’s a book of high quality, beautiful production, beautiful layout, everything is so incredibly well done here,” remarks David O’Sullivan on Kaya FM’s “Breakfast with David” show this morning. I was really beaming inside at that point because it has taken so much time, consideration, effort and planning to bring Mpumi’s Magic Beads into the world and I am so glad that one can call it beautiful. Above, is a snippet of the conversation that we had earlier today.
You can still pre-order your copies for delivery after 20 December 2017 and a big thank you to everyone who already has. If you’d love to hear the story live, as well as meet me and have me sign your copy, I will be hosted by Ethnikids at the Sandton Library on Saturday, 27 January 2018. Please bring all the children you know!
Thank you to DJ Keyez, David O’Sullivan and Kaya FMs Breakfast with David team for having me this morning.
This is the logo for my self-publishing company, Thank You Books. My name is a derivative of the gratitude concept in the Sesotho/Setswana/Sepedi language group (lebohang, relebogile, olebogeng, etcetera). I feel a deep gratitude for the life I have and continue to create; from school life to poetry life to freelance shooting-my-shot life and books have essentially given that to me. I am thankful to every writer who has written something (both inside & outside books) that has illuminated my path and has changed my life. And, I am immensely grateful to my mama and the box set of Poldy books that have been a force throughout my whole childhood. The icon consists of a ballet/book skirt because I feel that it’s important to pay homage to 14 years of rigorous classical and contemporary dance training because of how they have made me who I am. I am thrilled for this new chapter and all of the beautiful stories that I am going to put into the world.
Designers: Masego Morulane (illustrator of my dreams too) and Sibusiso Mkhwanazi.
Thank you to my friends, who always help me to make up my mind.
In this month’s edition of Destiny Magazine, you can peruse a selection of stunning statement fashion accessories for Autumn/Winter 2017 (including the most gorgeous golden Dolce & Gabbana earrings that I have ever!) alongside the elaborate art work on my beautiful, lithe brown body.
Representation truly means a lot to me. It is always a big deal when a mainstream brand like Destiny Magazine (or Jet Store) ask me to swap my perenially stressed Anthropologist life for a few hours of modelling and fun. I’m grateful that I get to showcase my body modifications on a national platform and challenge people’s archaic stereotypes. There are still so many misconceptions about tattoos in this country, especially when black women have them, and I am glad to be able to do my part to normalise these beautiful additions to our skin. I want us to all be able to really enjoy our agency free from harrassment and patriarchy’s fury that we dare to do what we want with our bodies. I would like for it to be crystal clear that we are neither promiscuous nor deviant – what we are, is cute as hell. Okay?!
Your local Heavily Tattooed Brown Babe™
P.S – It’s the one with Bonang on the cover.
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Thank you, Mpumi Sinxoto and the Destiny Magazine team!
Mpumi’s Magic Beads is one of my favourite labours of love and this past Tuesday afternoon, I had the wonderful opportunity to share it with some lovely little people and some big people too. I chose Bridge Books on Commissioner Street as the venue because it’s the perfect setting for the story about Mpumi, Tshiamo and Asante – three little girls with amazing hair, a great friendship and some really cool adventures in the big city.
From making my pledge to “Make One Day, Today!” and beginning this journey of finding inspiration to write a unique story set in this Joburg city that I adore – I feel so happy that WE DID IT and it has been received so warmly. I’m grateful that so many people enjoyed it and would love to own it because that’s the bigger dream – to have it exist in hard copy so we can all read it to our future/children. So now that I have come to the end of the journey with Standard Bank (an awesome 4 months that could not have possibly been enough time to publish-publish) the new journey that I am about to embark on and one that I have to give some serious thought to is: how? I am contemplating whether I will go with an established publisher or whether I will be the established publisher and self-publish. It is quite the big decision to make but either way, I’ve gathered some email addresses of interested future buyers (feel free to mail me yours if you’re interested) and I will keep everyone in the loop of how I will proceed from here – this means that the story is inaccessible at this time and all I ask for is some patience in the meanwhile. After that is accomplished, I would definitely love to consider taking the book and visiting schools and community centres for storytelling sessions because I enjoy them so much.
I’m grateful to everyone who came to the storytelling and allowed me to live my dream and also to those who spread the word and have expressed interest in owning the book. Thank you to Standard Bank, Book of Swag and Native for the opportunity and immense support, Kay Bapela for keeping me on track, Selina Morulane for bringing the girls to life and being a talented illustrator, Nokulinda for being both mom and kiddie snack-maker goals and for being awesome, Monti and Alexandra for being my best friends and coming through for me on the day and on all days, and to my parents for giving my siblings names that I could make a story with and to my siblings for being loving and helpful people.
One more thing on the subject of publishing: I would appreciate any advice in this regard so please feel free to comment and let me know which route you think I should go with and why? Thanks!
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Thank you to my mother and Thabani for being my first listeners, believing in the story and giving me the confidence to share it.
I can finally reveal that my pledge for #TODAY is children’s storytelling! I have always wanted to venture into this part of writing because I hold such a deep reverence for it. I was just always too anxious about it but then Standard Bank came along and pretty much dared me to choose just ONE thing that I have always yearned for yet always put off until another day. So, in true “why not make one day today?” fashion, I decided to try my best to make my dream happen. So, I’ve been hard at work putting together a story and I am very excited to present it to its intended audience – your gorgeous children!
As I have mentioned, children’s stories hold a very special place in my heart because they were my entry into the world of reading and my love for books. My children’s story collection as an adult has been growing since I feel especially giddy that we live in a time when books have become more diverse and representative of the little boys and girls all around us. I grew up on The Adventures of Poldy by Felicia Law, an incredible box set that my mom bought for me when we lived in Sweden, about a scarecrow and his friends: a crow, a seagull and a wagtail. It exposed me to childhood learning concepts and different cultures around the world and perhaps it’s also responsible for my love for Anthropology?
One of my biggest inspirations for this particular project, however, is Atinuke. I love that woman so much (and I will meet her one day)! The feeling I get when I read Anna Hibiscus is a feeling I would love for others to experience through my work and I am prepared to work at this craft in order to ensure that I get as close as possible to that kind of magic.
So, please join me on Tuesday afternoon at Bridge Books for a storytime session in which I’ll be presenting my debut children’s story, Mpumi’s Magic Beads and sharing another one of my favourite children’s stories. Please bring your little ones? The story is aimed at children from 4 – 10 years old but really, you’re all welcome. The event is free and public schools are on holiday so see you then! Here’s the Facebook invitation.
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Thank you to Standard Bank and the various creative agencies that gave me the best dare I’ve ever had the pleasure to complete. I’m so happy that it is taking shape!