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QUEEN OF IMBIRA (article first published : 2003-09-10)

In celebration of National Women’s Day, Maskew Miller Longman recently launched Queen of Imbira, a children’s book which is part of the Stars of Africa series.

Queen of Imbira is a story about Khethiwe, a girl who wished that she could play the imbira. But the king said that in his land, no girl could play imbira. Then one day, when Khethiwe was swimming in her secret place, an imbira magically appeared out of the water and changed her life forever.

The author of Queen of Imbira, also commonly known as “The Dreamweaver”, is Gcina Mhlophe who has been writing and performing on stage and screen for the past 21 years. She has written many children's books as well as adult audience poetry and short stories and plays. Her writings are published all over the world and translated into German, French, Italian, Swahili and Japanese. Her work is used extensively in many schools and universities and has contributed towards preserving storytelling as a means of keeping history alive and encouraging South African children to read in the process.

In 1993 a collaboration CD for children was released by Music for Little People in America. Gcina produced this CD and also appears on it as performer. She has written music for the SABCTV series Gcina & Friends where she performed her own stories.

In 2001, her CD and book of Nozincwadi Mother of Books, was produced as part of her nationwide reading road show to South African rural schools. Her work has received awards from BBC Africa Service for Radio Drama, The Fringe First Award in the Edinburgh Festival, the Josef Jefferson Award in Chicago, and OBBIE in New York.

Gcina Mhlophe has received Honorary Doctorates from the London Open University as well as the University of Natal. Last year saw the publication of her book and CD, An African Mother Christmas by Maskew Miller Longman.

For details on other books written by Gcina Mhlope and published by Maskew Miller Longman, contact the Marketing Manager on 021 531 7750, or visit Maskew Miller Longman’s website: www.mml.co.za

MML’s KZN office in situated in Norlaine Centre, Suite 110, 1st Floor, 7-15 Old Main Road, Pinetown and the phone number is 031 701 8813.




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