Social Bandit Media is proud to announce the publication of the final installment in the ‘Duma Says’ series for young readers.

The collector’s edition, ‘Duma says: Let’s Live!’ will include all three stories plus a special comic-book introduction from the author and advice from a new character, Dr Sam.

The book will be released worldwide on 29 January 2020. The e-books will be free to download while the paperbacks will be available at a series of independent book stores in South Africa, on Bookshop for American readers and on Amazon everywhere else. ‘Duma Says: Let’s Live’ debuted on Amazon at #1 in the children’s homelessness and poverty section.

Duma Says: Let's live!

‘Duma Says’ series is an ambitious project by Nathi Ngubane (Think Ahead Comix) in partnership with Social Bandit Media, an experimental media project based between Johannesburg and New York City. The books are completely crowdfunded by dozens of supporters around the world.

The three-part book series details the adventures of Duma and his family living in an unnamed informal settlement in South Africa during this COVID-19 pandemic. The books are unique in that they are an attempt to tell the story of the pandemic through the eyes of children living in tough circumstances.

Author and illustrator Nathi Ngubane says: I wanted to do two things with the book. First, I wanted it to be a resource for children living in tough conditions – like in cramped homes or communities without proper sanitation and electricity – and secondly, I wanted children living in well-off homes to get an idea of what the other side looked like, too.

“It’s a tough time for everyone, but some have it immensely harder than others. And it’s important to have that perspective. This is what representation means.”

“But I wanted to make sure that the books were bright and friendly and colorful. I wanted everyone who read the books to feel empowered. That it was possible to be safe and inventive. I didn’t want to add more fear.”

The series is for kids between ages 4-10 and have been designed specifically for use on tablets and smartphones so that it might be read and shared by children and parents everywhere. The first set of books have also been published in isiZulu, isiXhosa, Kiswahili as well as into braille for readers with visual disabilities.

Duma Says has has been featured and endorsed by South Africa’s Dept of Health, shared by Minister of Health Zweli Mkize, and hosted on the department’s official covid website (which is a zero rated website, ie. it does not use up precious internet data!).

The series has also been published by and added on to the African Story Book app as well as by FundZA app, that takes free digital books to young readers across South Africa.

Duma Says has also been included in the digital shared reading programme with parents in Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, created by the Institute for Life Course Health Research based at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Outside the African continent, it has also been featured & shared on Harvard University’s Centre for African Studies covid-19 resource portal and the New York City’s School library covid-19 resource portal. Ngubane’s efforts have also been featured on Al Jazeera’s The Stream, New Frame magazine, ENCA and others.

The series has been designed by Samina Anwary and made ready for print by Boutique Books.

For more information or to speak to the author or publisher, or if you would like to collaborate to help get the books out to those who need it, contact: Follow @duma_says on Instagram for updates.

Duma Says: Let’s Live!

Author: Nathi Ngubane

ISBN:  978-0620915939

Publisher: Social Bandit Media

January 21, 2021