"From the River to the Sea" is an enchanting coloring book crafted by South African illustrator Nathi Ngubane.

Children’s Coloring Book on Palestine: Creative Interventions as Solidarity


In the ever-expansive universe of children’s literature, a South African illustrator has created a coloring book aimed at harnessing crayons to illuminate the quintessential facets of Palestine for children. Through a kaleidoscope of captivating illustrations, the new enchanting coloring book aims to introduce young kids to the rich tapestry of Palestinian identity, history, and resistance.

From the River to the Sea,” crafted by South African writer and illustrator Nathi Ngubane, transcends the conventional boundaries of coloring books and offers not just images awaiting a splash of color, but a gateway to a realm where each stroke narrates a tale—a tale of Palestinian perseverance, aspiration, and unyielding tenacity.

Through a mosaic of striking sketches, the coloring book unveils quintessential facets of the Palestinian story of dispossession, occupation, and struggle for liberation. “I created this activity book to educate children in South Africa and worldwide about the history of Palestine, the culture of Palestinian people, and their flora and fauna,” Ngubane says.

The illustrator, who grew up in Chesterville, a small township in South Africa’s Durban, utilizes a sequence of breathtaking illustrations that delves into the injustice of the Nakba, unravel the intricacies of the land’s history and culture, and acquaints young readers with the fundamental principles fueling the Palestinian resistance.

“The current situation in Gaza is heart-wrenching. Every day, I follow the news to keep myself updated on the ongoing events, such as the Israeli military strikes that are causing severe injuries, destruction to homes, and deaths to thousands of children,” notes Ngubane, who collaborated with Social Bandit Media to realize this endeavor.

He aspires that the book will not only inform the children about the devastating situation that children their age are facing in Gaza, but also foster their support and solidarity with Palestine among young readers. Ngubane believes that equipping children with knowledge and empathy can catalyze meaningful action and aid for those in need.

With his signature blend of storytelling and illustration, “From the River to the Sea,” Ngubane says, not only strives to be a catalyst for societal transformation but aims to nurture seeds of compassion and solidarity in the hearts of children worldwide.

Ngubane’s previous works addressed health and social issues and his first children’s book, “Duma Says: Wash your hands, wear a mask!” was published in 2020, followed by “Duma Says: Let’s Live!”, a collector’s edition with two more stories in the series. In August 2021, he released his latest book in the series titled “Duma Says: Your ABCs to Good Health”. His work has been featured in Al Jazeera, BBC, Daily Maverick, New Frame & others.

The book is published by Social Bandit Media, an experimental media project based between Johannesburg and New York City, which focuses on telling stories that challenge the mainstream narratives on contemporary critical issues. In collaboration with Penny Appeal South Africa, Social Bandit Media aims to disseminate copies of the coloring book to learners across South Africa, extending its influence far and wide, it said in a release.

At a time when there is a renewed conversation about the place of children in international solidarity, this book is a terrific creative intervention.

Source: Social Bandit Media

Mariya Nadeem Khan

Mariya is a researcher within the Urban Socio-Spatial Development department at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has an MA in Development Studies from Erasmus University and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Leiden University. Her research builds on violence, nationalism, and social movements in South Asia and the GCC. Her other areas of interest include non-Western historiography, alternatives to the capitalist world economy, and Urdu literature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss