Last updated on Jan 30th, 2021 at 07:06 pm

For Professor Thuli Madonsela, fables formed a big part of her childhood. After the birth of her first granddaughter Melokuhle, and watching Christopher Robins, she was inspired to write a book. She wanted to re-tell some of the stories that she listened to while growing up.

On 22 October 2020, her dream finally came true as she finally launched the book she called “Melo’s Kingdom. Her goal with the book is to instill a moral compass in children. She does this by telling stories that teach principles such as courage, patience, respect, truth, and other important values.

“For many years I wanted to extend to today’s little ones the joy of African fables that were part of our staple diet when we were growing up. It was only much later, as a grown-up, that I realized that storytelling was how ancient societies passed down wisdom, knowledge and values,” Professor Madonsela says.

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The stories are centred around the main character, Melo, and seven animals, including a purple elephant named Queen Nzinga. Queen Nzinga was the Queen of the Ambundu Kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba in Angola. This part was important for Professor Madonsela because she wanted to encompass African history as well.

“The royal heritage I had in mind was celestial royalty that every child has a claim to. The big idea was for Nzinga to guide Princess Melo to discover and rise to the occasion having acquired wisdom, the right values, and knowledge through fables and proverbs,” Professor Madonsela says.

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Based on Christain principles and Africa proverbs, every story opens with a bible verse, a proverb, and ends with a prayer.

“Dear God, thank you for blessing me with gifts and talents to do certain things really well. Help me use my gifts to do good to others. Amen”. This is the prayer that concludes the story of how Dada the duck and Kiboko the hippo save the day.

It’s a fun-packed book, with adventurous stories that will not only entertain, but inspire your children to do and be more.