Kela and Kai are thrilled the day Dad brings home two orphaned lion cubs. The twins love looking after the cubs: feeding them, grooming them and playing with them. Until the day it is time for the cubs to return to the wild. How will the twins be able to say goodbye?
African Orphans was my first published children’s story, beautifully illustrated by Jill Turner. It was released, in May 2005, by Macmillan Educational Publisher.
This book is now out of print.
A personal insight into African Orphans:
This story was inspired by a visit to my cousin, Sharon, at Amalinda Safari Game Lodge, near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1997.
Sharon & her husband, Phil, had the privilege of taking on two orphaned lion cubs, Induna & Mzingele, and later introduce them back into the wild.
My Uncle Cedric & Aunty Gay Wilde brought up the original elephant orphans, Tusker, Duma and Ishe, on their private game reserve in the Turk Mine area. They were later transferred to Amalinda, in the Matopas Hills to be used by tourists on elephant safaris.
My Personal Favourite Part in the book
One morning, Vusi started talking to the groundskeeper at the school. He was not paying attention to the cubs. They escaped from the Land Rover and went to find the twins. Before long, they found the main school building. Luckily, the first room they entered was the twins' class.
The teacher jumped on top of her desk and shouted to the children, ' Up! Quick! Jump on to the tables. The lions will think you are too big to eat!' She was so scared she yelled for the Principal. Induna and Tombe didn't understand what the commotion was all about. They sat on the cement floor, next to Kela and Kai. Induna chewed at Kai's shoelaces. Tombe just sat with her head on Kela's shoes.
'They won't hurt you, 'called Kela to her teacher, 'they belong to us.'
The teacher was not very happy, but the other kids thought it was cool that Induna and Tombe had visited them.