Mandevu Means Catfish
This book is about a family fishing trip. I like it because it features black South Africans as ordinary, urban, successful people, instead of focusing only on tribal culture (rich and interesting as that is), political issues, blah blah blah… well to be honest, I did insert an issue in that I made the heroine of the story a child living with albinism.
It’s generally known that people living with albinism suffer intense discrimination at the hands of less pigmentally-challenged members of their communities in South Africa, and I thought it would be an effective way of getting people’s eyes used to the fact that they are part of our society. So let’s include them.
From the publishers’ website: ‘This story is set in Botswana. It tells of two families who decide to go fishing because the normally dry Shashe River is full. The father tells them not to take food, because he will catch fish for lunch. After quite some time, everyone gets hungry because the adults have not managed to catch any fish. Lefika’s rod starts to bend and her father helps her to reel in a large catfish. The learners are scared of the fish, but Lefika’s mother explains that it looks scary but tastes good. She tells them the name Mandevu means big whiskers.’
Client: Cambridge University Press