South Africa



(Photo credit: Neerav Bhatt)

For kids:

  • According to National Geographic Kids - From aardvarks to zebras, South Africa is bursting with wonderful wildlife! Although the country only makes up about 1% of the Earth’s land surface, it is home to almost 10% of the world’s known bird, fish and plant species, and about six percent of its mammal and reptile species.
  • When We Say Black Lives Matter, by Maxine Beneba Clarke available on StoryBox Library. From birth to the end of school, in joy and in sorrow, on the trumpet and the djembe, at home and in the community, a black child's parents remind him why Black Lives Matter.

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  • For a cute animated family film, you could watch Khumba, available on Beamafilm. A zebra is born with only half his stripes into an insular, superstitious herd. Khumba is immediately ostracized by all the zebras except for his parents and Tombi a feisty tomboy. 

For the adults:

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  • Mama Africa, directed by Mika Kaurismaki is a fascinating biopic of Miriam Makeba, South African singer and anti-apartheid activist, the voice and the hope of Africa. Available on Beamafilm
  • You could learn more about arguably the most famous South African, with an audiobook from BorrowBoxDare not linger by Mandla Langa is a vivid and inspirational account that tells the extraordinary story the challenges Mandela overcame to make his cherished vision for a liberated South Africa a reality.
  • Plan for future travel with Fodor's Essential South Africa, available on Hoopla. Everything about Africa that stirs the imagination is concentrated in its southernmost country. Lions freely roam vast game reserves such as Kruger National Park; vineyards stretch across the Cape Winelands; and mountains cascade into the sea along miles of beaches. In addition to dream safaris South Africa offers modern cities with thriving arts and dining scenes.
  • Scenes from Provincial Life by J. M. Coetzee is available as an eBook on Overdrive. The book opens in a small town in the South Africa of the 1940s. Scenes from Provincial Life is a heartbreaking and often very funny portrait of the artist by one of the world's greatest writers. J. M. Coetzee was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.
  • Down Second Avenue by Es'kia Mphahlele is available on the IndyReads platform. Down Second Avenue is a landmark book that describes Mphahlele's experience growing up in segregated South Africa. Vivid, graceful, and unapologetic, it details a daily life of severe poverty and brutal police surveillance under the subjugation of an apartheid regime. Banned in South Africa after its original 1959 publication for its protest against apartheid, Down Second Avenue is a foundational work of literature that continues to inspire activists today.