“I am the Nile” – Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt
“Never leave an enemy behind” – Shaka ka Sezangakhona
Johannesburg, South Africa
Real African Publishers (RAP), www.realafricanpublishers.com, publishers of TASTES FROM NELSON MANDELA’S KITCHEN have announced the launch date of its Real African Writers Children’s Series (RAW). The event will take place on the 4th of June 2013 in Accra, Ghana, and subsequently in Johannesburg, Lusaka, Lagos, Addis Ababa, London and New York. Full details will be circulated in April 2013.
The RAW children’s fiction series are primarily, multi-cultural, inspirational Pan African stories.
The Non-fiction Series, among others, chronicle the amazing journey of 100 GREAT AFRICAN KINGS AND QUEENS.
Making the cut in this first of ten volumes is the magnificent Queen of Sheba from Ethiopia; the inimitable last Pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra IV; and the irrepressible Hannibal Barca of Tunisia.
Not to be left out is Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali, the richest man who ever lived.
Why Kings and Queens? The answer according to the author Pusch Commey is “They were representatives of civilizations. They open a window into African and world history. The educational value is phenomenal”
Cleopatra (born 69 BC) was herself a phenomenon. A brilliant mathematician and businesswoman she understood the world better than most rulers of her time.
When the Romans ruled the known world, she went to the palace of Emperor Julius Caeser rolled in a Persian carpet and had it presented to him by her servants. When the carpet was unfolded, out tumbled Cleopatra.
Caeser was so charmed by the gesture that he invited Cleopatra to live in his palace, had children with her, planned to marry her contrary to the laws of Rome, and abandoned his plans to invade Egypt.
When Caeser was murdered in 44 BC, Cleopatra went to meet the new ruler Mark Anthony, with silver oars and purple sails, Nereid handmaids and her erotes fanning her. She was dressed as the goddesss of love, Aphrodite.
Mark Anthony went crazy over Cleopatra. He put her face on the Roman coin, the silver denaarii and divorced his second wife, Octavia, the sister of his co-ruler Octavius Caeser, in favour of Cleopatra.
So powerful was Cleopatra that she declared “I am the Nile”. Her favourite oath was “ so long as I shall dispense justice on the Roman capital”
Then there was Hannibal. The untold story of his epic exploits against the Roman Empire was the African Numidian Horsemen, the skilled javelin throwing mercenaries from Numidia which is occupied by present day Algeria. When Hannibal crossed the impossible Swiss Alps and traumatized the Roman Empire from 218 BC, it was with the indispensable assistance of the Horsemen. And when The Roman General Scipio Africanus counter- attacked and defeated Hannibal in the third punic war at Zama, he paid for, and enlisted the horsemen. Their intervention was the decisive factor. Scipio subsequently earned the nickname “The Roman Hannibal”. A testimony to the immense respect accorded to Hannibal by the Roman Empire.
When asked “Hannibal, why do you want to destroy the Romans?”
His response was “I do not wish to destroy the Romans, I am only contesting for glory and empire”
This fascinating story is equally matched by the richest man who ever lived, Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali. It has been calculated that if he were alive today, he would be worth 400 billion U.S dollars. In his time “All roads to wisdom led to the African city of Timbuktu.”
According to the book 1OO GREAT AFRICAN KINGS AND QUEENS, when he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD, he carried so much gold , and spent them so lavishly that the price of gold fell for ten years. The famous manuscripts of Timbuktu which covers all areas of world knowledge were written during his reign.
The whole continent is well represented in volume one, with interesting stories of Queen Nzinga of Angola, Queen Yaa Asantewaa of Ghana, Queen Amina of Nigeria, Emperor Menelik 11 of Ethiopia, King Shaka ka Sezangakhona of South Africa, and the pyramid King of the world, Khufu of Egypt.
Real African Writers will also launch three other intriguing fictional titles : Tofi’s fire Dance, Tofi and the rainbow fish, and Sea Never Dry. Of the three the most compelling for children is perhaps the adaptation Sea Never Dry, for 4-8 year olds. The cover blurb says it all:
“ Tofi ( a Zulu) meets Nii from the Gold Coast. She teaches Nii how to milk cows. Nii teaches her how to fish in the sea. One day, the rains fail to fall, there is no grass, the cows die. However like true love, sea never dry.” It is an incredible Pan African adventure/love story.
The first offerings of the Real African Writers Series ( which plans to add various other writers in a competition, with handsome prizes and on an offer to publish the winners) are available through an author search in all the major online bookshops, viz: Amazon.com, (Apple’s) ibookstore.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Sony.com, Copia.com, Kobo.com, Gardners.com, ebookpie.com, e-sentral.com, yellopub.myshopify.com, realafricanwriters.net
Print copies are distributed in South Africa and Ghana and currently available on demand globally.
Pusch Commey is a Ghanaian- born lawyer, practicing in the High Court of South Africa. He is first a foremost a prolific award winning writer/journalist and Associate Editor of the London based leading magazine NEW AFRICAN. He has written several journal articles and covered South Africa since 1999.