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Umama kaJafta

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Jafta describes his mother by comparing her to the earth and nature. He starts his descriptions with sunrise and goes through his daily tasks until bedtime. Jafta’s love for his mother is present in every step of his day.

Meet Jafta, a little boy living in an African village sharing the universal joys and sorrows of childhood. Jafta was born after prize-winning author, Hugh Lewin, was released from prison after a seven-year sentence for his opposition to apartheid. With exquisite poignancy he describes the life of separation Jafta experiences growing up without his father. Later in the series, we learn of Jafta’s experience of love for his mother and we share the tenderness and celebration of Jafta’s father’s homecoming. 

The stories live and breathe, beautifully rendered by the lyrical artwork of Lisa Kopper.

The Jafta Series first appeared in 1981 to worldwide acclaim. It has been published in the USA, the UK, France, Japan and Spain and many more countries and has been translated into Swedish, Danish, Finish, Dutch, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Portuguese. 

 “My mother is like the sun because she lights up the dark corners.

My mother is like a willow on a riverbank because she comforts and provides shade for her children.”

Jafta describes his mother by comparing her to the earth and nature. He starts his descriptions with sunrise and goes through his daily tasks until bedtime. Jafta’s love for his mother is present in every step of his day.

 About the Author/Illustrator

Hugh Lewin was jailed by the apartheid state for seven years. After serving the full term he left South Africa on a “permanent departure permit” in December 1971. Ten years in exile in London were followed by ten years in Zimbabwe. During his time in exile he wrote and published the Jafta Series so that he could share the beauty of his homeland with his children. In 1992 he returned to South Africa and became director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg. He is the author of Bandiet out of Jail, winner of the 2003 Olive Schreiner Prize and Stones against the Mirror, winner of the 2011 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. He worked for the Natal Witness, Drum and Golden City Post.

Lisa Kopper is a published author and an illustrator of children’s and young adults’ books. Some of the books she is credited for include Starting School (My First Time), Staying Overnight (My First Time), Going to the Dentist (My First Time), and Stories from the Ballet, as well as the Jafta Series

Parameters of Book: 
Sub-title:  
Authors: Hugh Lewin and Lisa Kopper
ISBN: 9781431421879
Size (mm): 270x230mm
Pages: 32pp
Format: Picture Flat
Colour: Colour
Rights: World Rights excluding Spain and USA
Language: IsiXhosa
Publication Date: July 2015