The Puku Children’s Literature Foundation in conjunction with the National Heritage Council, the Swiss Embassy and Queen Katrina Esau facilitated a creative writing workshop in April 2019 to produce the first South African children’s books in N/uu, Khoe and Nama.

Puku invited Queen Katrina Esau who runs a storytelling and language after-school initiative in Upington, for children ranging from ages 3 to 17 years. Ouma Katrina strives to pass on her language by telling the children indigenous stories and teaching them about their history. Queen Katrina and her three siblings are the only four fluent N/uu speakers in South Africa. She has taught the language to her daughter, grand daughter and great grand daughter.  Queen Katrina collaborated with her grand daughter, Claudia Snyman, to write a children’s book in N/uu. In the Northern Cape, where Afrikaans and Setswana are the dominant languages with an isiXhosa-speaking minority, N/uu, Nama and Khoe are not reflected in print. The few children’s stories in Nama that can be sourced, originate from Namibia, proving that there is virtually no South African-originated content in this language. Through the workshop with the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, N/uu will be available to many children through the published books. The books’ titles are being finalised. 

Queen Katrina works too with a group of academics from the University of Cape Town’s Centre of African Language Diversity (CALDi), to develop the orthography which is now being taught to the children at her after-school and where her granddaughter, Claudia has learned the orthography and wishes to continue it.

Watch the video here to find out more.


In the same workshop, books in Setswana were also produced and the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation proudly introduces this latest Setswana picture book addition to their Pukupedia, just in time to celebrate Africa Day, 25 May 2019.

Find below Lorato Trok’s Mosidi, illustrated by Siya Masuku. Aimed at children from 4-8 years, we’re excited to hear what young readers think!

Leave your comments on Facebook or Twitter or send comprehensive reviews to with the book name as your title to win one of two Puku T-shirts!

Let’s get children reading their stories this Africa Day. 

Written by Lorato Trok
Illustrated by Siya Masuku