It's no secret that I got into writing for children because I wanted to create the same kind of memories I hold from reading my favourite books as a child. A worthwhile endeavour no doubt, but sometimes writing for children -especially in Nigeria!- can bring more pain than pleasure.
Look at this face:
Why use words when you can use this picture to define 'tired'? This is the face of someone who just jumped off a 12-hour team call in the service of creating a picture book. To make matters worse, I had only gotten two hours of sleep the night before. Why, I hear you ask, would I do that again?
Because of this:
Wiehan de Jager, Thokozani Mkhize and I created a book. A book that is available for free to print and share with children all over the world. How wonderful is that?
I have participated in two Book Dash events so far - the first in Johannesburg 2019, which was one of the highlights of my year. I met some pretty amazing people, learned a lot about art and writing, and got to trade stories and experiences with my fellow creatives from various corners of the continent.
I also got this:
Because it was a slog and a half to make this:
My second Book Dash event was earlier this year. This time it was a virtual event, and, well, you already know what happened there!
They say three's the charm. As I gear myself up to participate in my third Book Dash event, it's nice to take a stroll down memory lane and remind myself that while the discomfort of having to stay awake for twelve hours running (shock! Horror! No naps?) is only temporary, the pleasure of knowing my work is out there being enjoyed time and again, is forever.
September 18th, bring it on!
*If you are an African editor, illustrator, designer or writer looking to donate your skills to the Book Dash mission, go over to their website and read all about how you can!
**Mamas, papas and educators, you can find all the Book Dash stories in English, Afrikaans and other languages right here.