- Book a finalist for the 2022 Mulher Forte African Literature Awards
- Little Ngwana is being translated into Setswana and minority languages
- Has been translated into Braille
Fully immersed in the world of children’s literature, local author Lesedi Gaeemelwe is celebrating milestones that her children’s book titled “Little Ngwana Stories” has achieved after it was published in 2020.
So far, the storybook has scooped an honorary award, the AfriCAN Honoree Author’s Award 2021, and has made it as a finalist for the 2022 Mulher Forte African Literature Awards. “I chose the name of the book because it was simple and direct,” Gaeemelwe said in an interview. “It was easy to relate to and also had something of a Setswana signature to it.
“I prefer to write for children because there is a very small pool of literature for children, especially in Africa. I also believe that children who read a lot stand a better chance of overcoming future social ills and pandemics. I believe that to capture the future, we must cultivate a healthy reading culture among today’s children.”
The A4 size enchanting book is an aesthetically pleasant for children as it has illustrations from the first to the last of its 60 pages. It comprises eight stories with a message of hope for children and covers Gender-Based Violence, motivation, as well as spiritual and imaginative themes.
“Little Ngwana” has also been endorsed by the co-founder of COHA, Victoria Joel of the Centre of Hope Academy in Namibia that specialises in children living with disabilities. Joel believes the book is suited for children aged 3-12. Upon its launch in 2020, the Bible Society of Botswana embarked on translating it into Setswana and minority languages, hence a book tour at the end of 2021.
“The ongoing tour entails reading sessions for children living in hidden areas and having language barriers, giving them a wonderful experience of entertaining story telling,” said Gaeemelwe.
The book has also been translated into Braille by the Mochudi Resource Centre for the Blind, which was the first book tour venue that took place on 3 December 2021. This has continued to make “Little Ngwana” a highly inclusive book catering for children from all walks of life.
“Batswana love the book,” the author added. “I am still working on selling to institutions and the government. The book has so far found international sales in Ireland, Namibia and South Africa.”
Gaeemelwe is an MBA in International Business, a high school Business Studies teacher and a performance arts enthusiast. She also works with children at her local church and is a dance and music coach.