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.


More about the ‘Duma says’ series for children

There are many books about covid-19 attempting to help kids feel safe and comfortable during these absurd times.

But there aren’t many books that represent people of colour and even fewer, that center kids from marginalized communities.

The books are unique in that they are an attempt to tell the story of the pandemic through the eyes of children living in cramped and impoverished circumstances.

Set in South Africa, the stories showcase the adventures of Duma and his friends in an informal settlement during a time of covid-19.

The kids make masks, build an outdoor school and learn to play games while socially distancing.

‘Duma Says’ has been translated into six languages, into braille and have been made available on South Africa’s Department of Health’s website.

It has also been featured on Al Jazeera’s The Stream, New Frame, Daily Maverick and others.

For further information on the unique health challenges in informal settlements click here

Our Team:
Nathi Ngubane, Samina Anwary, Sarwat Malik Hassen, Azad Essa, Dr. Sameera Essa

Our partners:
Pioneer Printers, Somesha Online, Boutique Books (Jane Harley), Naeem Mayet, African Story Book, FUNDZA, Literacy Hub, Dr. Shehnaaz Peer

Our supporters:
Aadila Sabat, Malika Bilal, Javeria Ahmed, Karabo Kgoleng, Zukiswa Wanner, Thabiso Mahlape, Saadia Toor, Haseena Jamal, Tariq Syed, Aadil Rashid Mir, Kathrin Lehel, Nouran El-Hilali, Ben Williams, Rehana Qadir, Karim Shah, Sana Uddin, Mohamed Nanabhay, Marina Sofi, Sadaf Haider, Yousuf Kanjwal, Syed Hassan, Faisal Edroos, Umar Farooq, Naeem Mayet, Shalini Kishan, Soud Hyder, Nasra Bwana, Shenaaz Essa, Laila Al-Arian, Imad Musa, Hasina Kathrada and others.