Author and illustrator Nathi Ngubane will be in conversation with Dr. Uzma Syed on Saturday, 20 March 2021, to talk about the making of ‘Duma Says’, the critically acclaimed children’s book that centers the urban poor in the story of covid-19.

‘Duma Says: Let’s Live’ (Collector’s Edition) debuted at #1 on Amazon in the Children’s poverty & homelessness category when it was introduced on to the platform in early February.

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 uniquely tell the story of the pandemic through the eyes of disadvantaged communities.

“It’s so important to talk to our young children about the disease and of course, support our #education advocates,” Dr Syed said ahead of Saturday’s event.
“Bring your children ages four and up to this special event where Nathi will have a book reading for children during the first half of program and in the second half we will have an in-depth discussion.”


About the event

  • Dr Uzma Syed is an infectious disease physician for Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in NYC and chair of their COVID-19 task force team. Dr Syed is also the founder Align US Inc, a non-profit organization which focuses on career development for high school students via mentorship.
  • Nathi Ngubane is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Johannesburg. ‘Duma Says’ is his first children’s book.
  • The e-meet is co-sponsored by Align US, Hungtinton Muslim Youth Outreach, Interfaith Clergy Council, Eid Holiday Coalition Long Island and Muslims for Progress
  • The discussion on Saturday is part of Nathi Ngubane’s virtual world tour promoting literacy and diverse children’s literature
  • Event to take place on Saturday March 20, 2021 | Time: 14h00 NYC/20h00 Johannesburg
  • To attend the FREE event on Zoom/Facebook. Register here 

About ‘Duma Says’

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 e-books are free to download while the paperbacks are available at EthniKids, Ike’s Bookshop as well as other independent book stores in South Africa.

They are also on Amazon and Bookshop for international readers.

All proceeds from the paperback go to the Open Air School for learners with special needs, where Ngubane completed his schooling.

‘Duma Says’ has has been featured on 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 internet data!).

The books have been featured on Al Jazeera, BBC Africa and included as resources for children in the New Scientist Magazine and Bhekisisa.

For further information or interviews with Nathi or Uzma, contact: