Press Release: Social Bandit Media to launch new book in ‘Duma says’ book series for kids

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 introduction from the author and advice from a new character, Dr Sam.

The book will be released worldwide on 26 January 2020.  The e-books will be free to download while the paperbacks will be available at Ike’s Books for South African readers and on Amazon for international readers.

duma says collector's edition

‘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. And 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 need it, contact: Follow @duma_says on Instagram for updates.

About the stories in ‘Duma Says’

Book 1: Duma says: Wash your hands and wear a mask

Synopsis: “Duma says” is about the adventures of Duma, his sister Zihle and their friends, as they try to find their way during the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa. In Book one, “Duma Says: Wear a mask, Wash your hands!”, the duo notice that their neighbours don’t have masks, so they hatch a plan to protect their community.

Download your free copy here.

the characters

Book 2: Duma says: Let’s learn!

Synopsis: With schools still closed because of the coronavirus, Duma, Zinhle and Wandile are bored at home. Wandile and Duma have played every game with Bhubusi and Zinhle has read all her story books. They miss school and all the things they learn and all the friends they see. But then Duma gets an idea: if they can’t go to school, why can’t the school come to them?

Download your free copy here.

Book 3: Duma says: Come play with us!

Synopsis: Since the community built the open-air school, the children have been busy. They are learning how to count and practicing their reading. But one day Zinhle tells the class that it was time for something different. She said it was time to play. But before they could leave the classroom there was one problem that still needed solving: how would they play during a time of the coronavirus?

Download your free copy here.

The paperbacks are also available on Amazon.

More about the ‘Duma says’ series for children

Millions of children in South Africa and elsewhere live in cramped housing, sometimes without even electricity, internet or running water.

How are these children meant to social distance when there are so many living in a one room house in an informal settlement?

How are they supposed to play, or learn when stories don’t depict their reality?

How will other children, in more privileged homes, learn about the lives of others when they only see themselves reflected in books?

Further information on the unique health challenges in informal settlements click here

Click to download your FREE
English PDF Copy

Bonyeza kudownload copy yako ya Kiswahili- Click to download your FREE Kiswahili PDF Copy

Cindezela Lana umufuna ukuba nayo incwadi- Click to download your FREE isiZulu PDF Copy

Khuphela apha ngezantsi- Click to download your FREE isiXhosa PDF Copy

Our proud supporters:

Saadia Toor, Haseena Jamal, Tariq Syed , Shehnaaz Peer, Aadil Rashid Mir, Kathrin Lehel, Nouran El-Hilali, Ben Williams, Rehana Qadir, Karim Shah, Sana Uddin, Mohamed Nanabhay, Marina Sofi, Sadaf Haider, Mohammed Kanjwal, Syed Hassan, Naeem Mayet, Shalini Kishan, Soud Hyder, Nasra Bwana, Jane Harley, Sameera Essa, Shenaaz Essa, Samina Anwary, Jane Harley, Laila Arian, Imad Musa, Hasina Kathrada, Aadila Sabat and others.

If you are willing to donate to this project, check out our GoFundMe page.