Home News NC dept to host launch of N/uu children’s book

NC dept to host launch of N/uu children’s book


The book demonstrates the strides made in the preservation of indigenous languages.

Ouma Katrina Esau is the author of the trilingual picture book about Ostrich and Tortoise, which has been written in N/uu, with Afrikaans and English translations.

THE SIGNIFICANT advance in the struggle for the survival of the N/uu language will be celebrated when the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture launches the first ever N/uu children’s book.

The book, titled the Tortoise and Ostrich, will be launched on May 24, 2021 in Rosedale, Upington.

The cover of !Qhoi n|a Tjhoi (Tortoise And Ostrich), by Katrina Esau, featuring art by Stanley Grootboom. Picture: puku.co.za

Department spokesperson Conrad Fortune said the book is an illustrated story told by Katrina Esau, who is one of the oldest speakers of the N/uu language.

“In 2020, Ouma Katrina Esau was honoured as a South African Living Human Legend. This accolade is bestowed upon individuals who have a high degree of knowledge and skills to perform or recreate specific elements of the intangible cultural heritage,” said Fortune.

“The department will host the book launch in collaboration with the National Library of South Africa and the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation. The book was published by New Africa Books and is illustrated by acclaimed artist Stanley Grootboom. The Afrikaans editing and English translation was done by internationally-celebrated writer and poet Diana Ferrus.” Fortune said the book will also demonstrate the strides made in the preservation of indigenous languages.

“The launch of this book is a significant occasion for the Northern Cape government. The launch will provide an opportunity to demonstrate to the sponsors, the National Heritage Council, the Swiss Embassy and the International Publishers Association and Dubai Cares, that their investment has yielded a tangible benefit, not only to the Northern Cape community but to all the children who this book will reach.

“The publishing of the book emanates from several workshops, sponsored by the National Heritage Council and the Embassy of Switzerland, to assist Northern Cape writers to write in indigenous languages.

“The launch of this book resonates with the Northern Cape government’s commitment to the survival of all the endangered languages of the Province.”