furthering african pride and belonging

 welcome to

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our mission

We aim to preserve African languages and heritage while fostering a strong sense of African pride, unity and identity because our native languages matter and our heritage is worth preserving!

Our vision is to change the narrative and reframe how an entire generation of children of African descent see themselves and how others see them; with unsurmountable pride and respect. We hope you will join us.

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 our story


We barely knew each other but fate united us through our shared struggle, in vain, to find fun and engaging children’s books and resources to teach Shona and Ndebele. Very quickly we realized that this cause is bigger than us and about more than just books so we combined forces and saanrize was born. 

Why the name saanrize, you might be wondering? We wanted something that would embrace all Africans and our research showed us that the Saan are the oldest tribe in Africa, thus the oldest of us all. To honour that connection we chose the first part of our name “saan”.

We see our mission as being a new dawn and creating of a “saan” uprising that strengthens our children’s identities, allows us to own our narrative, and shape our destiny as “saan” people. There is also a slight play on sunrise – which is beautiful, unique, and inviting. These are elements we want to embrace and amplify with this platform. So here we are – saanrize. We hope you’ll rise with us.

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physical products

thoko vuka! thoko muka!


Thoko Muka! Thoko Vuka! is a fun and captivating 2 books (Ndebele and Shona) in 1 bilingual hard cover children’s book. We created this series to allow children to teach children Zimbabwean culture and Shona and Ndebele in a fun, engaging and relatable way.  Join Thoko and Zou-Zou as they go on fun and amazing adventures to learn about her culture and heritage.

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saanrize app


Download the saanrize app and have fun learning and discovering African stories, languages, and cultural heritage

  • Expose kids to authentic and captivating content - created by Africans and featuring African characters

  • Enjoy entertaining content wherever you are in the world.

  • More books, languages, nursery rhymes and videos in the works.



Shona, Ndebele and English e-book versions of our first series - Thoko Vuka! Thoko Muka! Thoko, Wake Up!

Audio Books

Free audio books to learn Shona and Ndebele. Listen to your heart’s content.

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Flash Cards

Free Thoko Vuka! Thoko Muka! Thoko, Wake Up! inspired Shona, Ndebele, and English flash cards to help teach children Shona and Ndebele.


partner with us

calling all writers, animators, illustrators, educators, musicians, and makers to join our mission!

We’re looking for people to help us grow our product base. We can’t, won’t, and don’t want to do it alone. Africans from all over the world who are passionate about preserving their heritage and languages are welcome to join us and collaborate with us on this “saan rizing”. Drop us a line and let’s see what magic we can create together.

Name *
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our team

We are two passionate Zimbabweans on a mission to preserve native African languages and cultural heritage. Our goal is to foster a strong sense of pride, unity, and belonging among children of African descent.


carol dzingai

Raising Zimerican kids in the diaspora is not easy! Teaching them Shona is even harder. This was born out of my personal struggle to find engaging Shona children’s books to read to my girls. It’s important to me that they speak Shona, identify with being Zimbweans, and have a strong sense of pride in who they are and their African heritage. I want to help other families who are struggling with this same challenge to not feel so alone and get the resources and community they are looking for.


nomusa ndebele

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. It wasn’t until my nieces and nephews were born in the diaspora that I understood how fortunate I was to have been anchored in my Zimbo-ness. I see families struggle to help their children have that same anchor, and I want to help them face those challenges and win. I want my nieces and nephews to grow up not only speaking their native language, but also being proud of their African heritage.