Welcome to our blog! Watch this page to keep up with our publishing journey!
Our first book called Kuenda Kumusha, is due to be on bookshelves this fall!
It is currently in its final illustration and editing phases!
Our journey here thus far has been an adventure. It has involved lots of reading—children’s picture books, how-to books, inspirational books, books on marketing, books on social media, books on editing, more picture books… At one point, any time we finished a book, I would look through the number of pages, the name of the publisher the other information included on the copyright page. This was such a common occurrence that when I didn’t do it, my daughter would remind me that I had not finished with the book reading rituals and still needed to count the pages! There have been highs of feeling ready to change the world through reading and lows of feeling overwhelmed by the number of hats required to start a new business from scratch. Always, though, it has been an adventure.
As the ever-wise Bilbo Baggins said to his still naïve nephew, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Two years ago, while my daughter was still only cursorily interested in reading time, I began the search that eventually turned into this company. We were searching for books to represent her Zimbabwean-ness. At the time, we were living in Seattle, WA, but we had many friends and family members who were making the trip to home to Zimbabwe regularly. Every time someone would go, they would ask if there were any requests for things from home. Beyond the obvious request for Mazoe and Royco, I would ask for children’s books in Shona, if they could be found. Time after time, people would return with the Mazoe and Royco (for which we were very grateful) but no children’s books. We have managed to gather a few books, but they do not stand out on the shelf like the English picture books that we have. The illustrations are either too sparse or too complicated or too something, and the verbiage is too complex for a two or three-year-old to comprehend. We slowly began to realize that the book we wanted didn’t exist yet. That is how the dream began. It started as just a step out the door, “We should make our own book,” and that snowballed into, “There needs to be a place that is facilitating this,” which rolled into, “We need to build a publishing house!”
Thus, Cornbread neMuriwo was born. It began as an idea to fulfill a need our family felt, but we realized that our family could not be the only one needing representation. Not only must there be other families needing to be represented in the books the children read, but there must also be other families who needed to see diversity in their books and to see the world in the things that they read to their children. That is our mission as a company: to represent the children of Zimbabwe and the children of the Zimbabwean diaspora and to add to the diversity of the larger children’s publishing repertoire.