“Thandi represented my own ignorance,” says multimedia designer Khosi Mpungose. “Through this experience and through her traveling the world and finding out more about it, she grows as a person and that's really what I am trying to do for kids in South Africa.”
Thandi, the central character in the book Thandi's Trippy Trips, is a young African girl who sets off on a traveling adventure to Scotland. She has a quirky way of understanding the world, asking a kilted man why he is wearing skirt and discovering the new country through making niave (but charming) assumptions and then having the people she meets enlighten her.
Mpungose hoped to show her young South African readers a little of what was out there in the world.
“I was trying to encourage kids that you should expand your horizons and dream big. How can you tell them to dream big in a world they aren’t even aware of?”
As well as Thandi’s Trippy Trips, which she presented as part of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme 2015, Mpungose has set up her own design firm, The Handsome Setup. Her first book incorporates geography, language, culture and history into an entertaining tale.
“I was involved in a lot of corporate work, and this for me was a pet project, that I wanted to do because I wanted to make an impact and do something a little out of my comfort zone,” says Mpungose. “Different people react in different ways depending on their background. Travel helps you see people in a different light. That's why I think it is extremely important.”
In the future, Mpungose hopes to take Thandi to more African countries.