The elephants are coming
The elephants are coming
Imvelo Safari Lodges and the Hwange Schools Project launched their first children’s book, The elephants are coming! in March this year. The book will be the first in a series about a little boy called Themba and his family, who live in a village that borders Hwange National Park.
The books are being sold to raise funds for Imvelo’s community projects, specifically to raise the standard of English literacy in the schools that they support. To date the publishing project has been a great success, with many buyers purchasing more than one copy – one to take home and a couple to donate back to the schools. A long-term goal of Imvelo and the Hwange Schools Project is to encourage a love of reading and the aim is for each child to own his or her own book.
The elephants are coming! has been successful from another point of view – the story is written in a context that the children can understand and relate to. The storyline is based on a common occurrence in villages that border the Hwange National Park and indeed all over Zimbabwe - elephant raiding crops at night.
The story was in fact conceptualised at Imvelo’s Camelthorn Lodge when the author heard the beating of drums one night and asked what it was all about. In this story Themba begs to be allowed to help his father and brother to protect the crops at night by beating drums and lighting fires, but he is told that he is too young.
He is bitterly disappointed but that night wakes to find an elephant in the crops right next to the house and it’s up to him to chase it away. The illustrations are all based on photographs that were taken in Ngamo village and this makes the story all the easier for the children to relate to. The book also combines fact and fiction, with a few pages at the end filled with interesting information about elephant.
Two more books in the series are currently in production and are again based on everyday life in Ngamo village. The books should be available in September this year.
About Lindsay Norman - the author of The elephants are coming
Lindsay Norman lives in Cape Town. She has worked in educational publishing for 28 years and believes that the greatest gift you can give to a child is to instil a passion for reading. She has authored a number of school textbooks but The elephants are coming! is her first children’s book. Lindsay has travelled to Zimbabwe for many years and first became involved with Imvelo Safari Lodges’ community projects after she visited Bomani Tented Camp in 2011. She is a founder member of Hwange Schools Project, a non-profit organisation that promotes literacy in a number of schools adjacent to the southeastern border of the Hwange National Park.