I grew up in South Africa, studied graphic design and illustration at The College of Art & Design in Johannesburg, worked as a graphic designer and art director in advertising agencies in Johannesburg before settling in Washington D.C. and then Philadelphia, PA.After joining SCBWI — one of my best decisions — I enjoyed a few years as Illustrator Coordinator for the Eastern Pennsylvania region. Now, I’m thrilled that my debut picture book, HECTOR: A BOY, A PROTEST, AND THE PHOTOGRAPH THAT CHANGED APARTHEID was published by Page Street Kids on June 4th, 2019.
On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story’s events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos. This book can serve as a pertinent tool for adults discussing global history and race relations with children. Its graphic novel style and mixed media art portray the vibrancy and grit of Hector’s daily life and untimely death.
Heartbreaking yet relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on events that helped lead to the end of apartheid.