South African model Shudufhadzo Musida is coming out with another children’s picture book this October titled I Am Shudu: Finding my Voice, Knowing my Strength. The book is published by Jacana Media and is an empowering coming-of-age tale inspiring children to follow their dreams.
The book is illustrated by Chantelle and Burgen Thorne. The cover of the book is absolutely stunning and features a lifelike illustration of Musida with a silver crown on her head, long gold earrings, and a gorgeous necklace and golden dress. Her skin is glowing with confidence and beauty. The bottom edge of the cover depicts a row of cityscapes to denote all the towns she has lived in during her lifetime.
Although it is a simple cover, it does a great job illustrating the key themes of the book and attracting the reader’s attention. According to the publisher’s synopsis, “Shudu’s happy and carefree childhood seems very far away when she moves towns and is bullied by her new classmates for being an outsider. But her special friendships help her feel like she belongs.” Deep inside, Shudu has a spark, a special kind of strength that she didn’t even know was there.
The book encourages readers to find their voice and be themselves, like Shudu. Musida announced the book and the cover on Instagram, hoping that the book will be empowering to young children:
I am Shudu.
A dream realised.
I am excited to introduce my new book, I am Shudu, Finding my Voice, Knowing my Strength, which explores themes of bullying, identity, bravery, forgiveness, displaced families, and the bond of friendships. But most importantly, the power of community and the magic we find when we use our voices. I am working with Jacana Media on this coming-of-age story, with beautiful illustrations from the award-winning Chantelle and Burgen Thorne.
I hope that this book will inspire and empower all children 6 to 10 year old and many of our children.
Shudufhadzo Musida is a South African model who was crowned Miss South Africa 2020. She is the first title holder whose first language is Venda, and was selected to represent South Africa in Miss World 2022. Musida is the author of a children’s picture book Shudu Finds Her Magic (2021). She is an advocate for mental health awareness and empowering women and children.
Preorder I Am Shudu here.