Masters candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand and author Lebohang Masango chats to us about her debut childrens’ book Mpumi’s Magic Beads. By Kwanele Mathebula
Image: Lebohang Masango IG
Mpumi’s Magic Beads was inspired by wanting to imagine something new for children navigating the city. I love Johannesburg and while it’s usually characterised as a dangerous city, I wanted to highlight its child-friendly aspects while creating an enchanting story for children to fall in love with.
From the beginning of writing it, I always knew it would be a children’s book. I love children’s books and I have always yearned to write one because they have played such a significant role in my love for words.
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It took me three days to write the story. I enjoyed writing this book. The entire process of producing the book by myself took about nine months. Though there weren’t any challenges, I did experience the pressure of me being a perfectionist and making sure that I was constantly making the best creative and editorial decisions.
I hope that the book inspires the imaginations of children. I hope that after reading Mpumi’s Magic Beads they will see Johannesburg in a different light.
I chose to self-publish because I enjoy having creative control of my work. Also, I was in a rush to have it out in the world and approaching publishing houses would have taken up a lot of time.
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My plan for the future is to release more books. I also would like to do more public readings for children at schools or libraries. To find out where her next readings are, follow Lebohang on Twitter.