Zindi’s Journey – Finding Gem is a children’s story with a message for everyone, set in the fictitious Valley of a Hundred Hills in Africa. It is about a young girl named Zindi who follows both an internal and external journey, similar to one that so many of us travel. We are all born with “gems” of creative potential. Then gradually, as parents, teachers, and society burden us with their expectations to be practical, sensible, and to conform, a thing I call “Squelch,” our internal critic, emerges. It has the power to squash and devour our creative spirit.
Zindi is born with “tap-swaying” feet and a voice of honey and gold. However, her parents expect her to do chores and believe her singing and dancing is a waste of time. Simultaneously, the village river runs parallel to Zindi’s journey. It reflects the creative life force. At her peak, it whooshes by, sparkling with “gems” that dance and sparkle. Then a factory appears alongside the river, polluting it with its grime. When Zindi is at her lowest, when she is forbidden to chant and to sway, the river becomes sluggish and slow. “Squelch” lurks around with a smirk on his face, feeding off the sludge and the slime. “Gem,” who represents her creative potential, flickers faintly. But when Zindi can take it no more and decides to break out of her slump, things change.
At the back of the book is a Teacher/Parent Guide, with practical discovery tools and resources to help children or oneself mine deeper to explore hidden dreams and life passions. Besides their educational value, they’re great fun too!