Internationally renowned South African musician Maya Wegerif, best known by her fans as Sho Madjozi, has shot for the literary stars with the release of her debut children’s book, “Shoma and the stars” this December.
After several years making waves globally as a multiple award-winning singer, songwriter and performing artist, Sho Madjozi can now add another title to her list: Author.
Shoma and the stars is a unique South African tale with an important message and a touching backstory published by Ethnikids Publishers.
A tribute to her little sister and her youngest fans
Shoma and the stars is a relatable yet unique South African story about a little girl called Shoma who grows up in a beautiful South African village. From her parents, to the way she dresses and likes to do her hair, it is clear that Shoma was always going to be a little bit different. Luckily, Shoma has a little sister, Nyeleti, who she does everything with, until the day Nyeleti, which means ‘star’ in Xitsonga, disappears to become a star in the sky.
The book unfurls the tale of little Shoma learning to accept loss, navigating life as an outsider and eventually learning that her uniqueness is her power. By being herself, little Shoma saves the day and finds a new group of “sisters”.
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Sho Madjozi, who holds a degree in creative writing, wrote this story of celebrating your uniqueness and being courageous as a tribute to her younger sister, Makhanani ‘Nyeleti’ Maganye, who died in a tragic car accident in 2019. ‘I was inspired by my young fans who became my little sisters when I lost mine', says the singer and debut author as she reflects on the heartbreaking loss. ‘My young fans, whom I call the “The Sho Madjozi Stars,” motivated me to keep going'.
‘A couple of days after I lost my sister, thousands of girls rocked colourful Sho Madjozi braids. They were like bright little stars when my life felt so dark. I remember crying and crying when I saw that. It was so touching. My young fans gave me the strength to keep going. They are my biggest inspiration, and with this book, I want to keep encouraging them to celebrate being daring and different.’
In the little fans who flock to her concerts and show her support online and in the streets, she sees her little sister.
The story behind the story
Sho Madjozi fell in love with the power of writing at a young age. “I have loved words all my life. I have been writing poems and stories since I was seven years old.” Her most cherished gifts from her parents as a child were the many books her parents gave her.
She credits this early proclivity to writing for her subsequent interest and career in music. “Even my introduction to music was through writing. The only difference is that now I’m writing lyrics.” she adds. “I am so glad I was a bookworm, or I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
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Colourful like Sho Madjozi
The John Cena artist is known for being proud of her roots and promoting the Xitsonga culture in her music and iconic style and fashion choices. The book resonates with her vibrant, colourful personality and style and includes an immersive visual experience that incorporates augmented reality.
Various pages of the book include 3D animation elements that can be accessed via a smart mobile device. The typography and imagery of the book is beautiful and vibrant, aligned with the Sho Madjozi brand and illustrated by artist Katlego Keokgale. Since Sho Madjozi is a musician after all, fans can expect music that goes along with this new extension of Sho Madjozi, Shoma and the stars.
Shoma and the stars is available for purchase (R180) nationwide at all major South African book retailers from 3 December 2022.