By Mphatso Sam
Blantyre, November 11, Mana: 21-year-old African Bible College graduate, Lindsay Katchika Jere has published a book in which she is exploring gaps in girl child education, promotion of local cultural heritage and children’s participation and empowerment.
She recently launched her book series titled The Adventures of Thoko: The Missing Meteorite Book at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe where Deputy Minister of Labour, Vera Kamtukule, an author of six books, was Guest of Honour.
In an interview on Monday, she said the book, which is her first publication, targets children from three years of age to 12 and seeks to promote a reading culture in young children and to act on issues affecting them.
“There is a gap in local children’s literacy; there are not many young people or writers writing for children.
“I saw the gap in children literacy, children’s education, specifically girls’ education, so that is what inspired me to write the book,” said Katchika Jere.
After graduating from ABC with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, Katchika Jere worked with Chichiri Museum as a government intern for years where she discovered that there was limited literature on some of the artifacts.
The published book, according to the author, seeks to empower young girls and children to act on issues that affect their communities saying: “‘The Missing Meteorite,’ is a story centred on meteorite (Nthandila) that fell in Machinga in 1981 and is now placed in the museum.”
Running over 26 pages, the book is a story of a young girl, Thoko, who is passionate about meteorite, a piece of metal or rock that has fallen on earth from outer space as a meteor.
Thoko visits Chichiri Museum in Malawi to have an encounter with a real meteorite.
The protagonist finds the meteorite stolen and she decides to investigate the case where in the course, she discovers a secret that lands her in great trouble. Thoko is able to report the situation to authorities. The thieves are caught and Thoko is awarded and given the title of a museum hero.
Katchika-Jere said people like Lupita Nyong’o, Maya Angelou, Matilda Phiri and Vera Kamtukule inspired her to write the book which has been published by Trumpet Media and is selling at K4, 000. She said over 300 people have already accessed the book.