Some years ago I sat in my study transfixed as I read Out of the Black Shadows – Stephen Lungu’s autobiography. This amazing story is full of suspense, and solutions to apparently intractable problems, page after page. The more I read the more I wished my teenage kids would read it too but the younger one would find it too wordy.
Suddenly there was a clear vision … if Lungu agreed I could write a simplified and illustrated version. And, African Enterprise, the organisation he works though, could benefit financially towards their meagre pension fund.
Nine years on from that vision and From a Street Kid is published in the UK and South Africa, widely available in print and on Kindle, and selling way beyond my hopes and dreams. Recently I sent a few copies to Cross Over a mentoring project in Zimbabwe that my husband, Stephen, and I visited in February. Cross Over helps vulnerable children in a strong nurturing environment who have fallen through the gaps. This is the response from Debbie, the founder of Cross Over:
“Your books arrived safely and we are using them as read alouds in 3 of the study groups this term. Your story is such a hit with our kids! They are totally engrossed in the life of Stephen Lungu and when we stop at the end of read aloud time each day there is much complaining and asking if we can’t just read one more page!!…
I can’t wait to see how the children will
respond as this remarkable story continues
to unfold!! When we finish doing it as a read aloud, I will let them re-read it as an individual reader. Thank you for this wonderful story and how you have captured it for our children!”
The Cross Over project is one of projects currently supported by The Thembisa