Born out of personal struggles, conceived with a bigger purpose
My personal struggle began soon after I had my first child. I always knew that I wanted my kids to be able to speak and understand Shona and identify with and take pride in their “Zimbabweaness” even if they were born in U.S. However, as soon as my daughter went into daycare, I felt like we started to lose the battle. Since 90% of her time was spent in English, her English soared while her Shona struggled. And to make it worse, although my daughter loved reading books, I was forced to read with her in English because I couldn’t find any engaging Shona children’s books. I wanted to read to her stories that would help her identify with and take pride in the Zimbabwean part of who she was, and also learn our values.
At the back of my mind I also wished that I could somehow also teach her Ndebele. Unfortunately, I only knew like 3 words even though I was born and raised in Zim. So I resigned myself to the fact that that was kind of just crazy dreaming; especially since I was in the U.S. and had no-one to speak to her in Ndebele.
I kept wondering why there weren’t any authentic Shona and Zimbabwean books and games that could help make learning my native language both fun and easy? Where were the cartoons that we could watch together that could help instill in her pride in who she was not only as a Shona or Zimbo but also African?
As fate would have it, Nomusa reached out to me through her cousin (my friend from primary school) and we quickly realized we had a shared passion and drive to try to solve this same problem. Since she was Ndebele and I was Shona it was also the perfect union. We both wanted our platform to help unite our children as Zimbos, vs. Shonas or Ndebeles or Zezurus vs. Karangas etc. So we quickly banded together on this ambitious mission.
This is bigger than just us creating stories, movies, books, games etc. but more about us creating a platform that helps Zimbabwean and other African children preserve their heritage and language, and also to help them take pride in their Zimbabwean/African identity. This is why I am so excited to embark on this mission with Nomusa. We invite you to reach out if you want to collaborate with us to further African pride and belonging. Together we can do amazing things!