Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Obama Shaka vs. The Zulu Shaka

The Shaka Ha
nd vs Shaka Zulu

What could be more different than the name of a ferocious Zulu Chief and a laid back, hang-cool hand symbol from Hawaii?

Yet they’re both called Shaka.

Thanks to president elect Obama, those two entirely different worlds just came together, when our next commander-in-chief gave the hand signal.

Welcome to the unified field theory – Africa style.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shaka Boy Spawns Graphic Novels in Education Conference - Jan. 31

Due to the interest in White Shaka Boy by Schools and libraries, author Alan Brody and the publishers, ViziPress are producing an extraordinary new conference with Fordham University in New York City, on Sat Jan. 31 entitled Graphica in Education.

Meet some of the best thinkers, educators and creators in this fascinating intersection between art, literature and education.

Experts are suggesting that a new generation growing up in a highly visual video internet environment seem to perceive information in a new way and they seem to be especially responsive to graphically delivered information. For more information vist our website at

Some of the confirmed speakers are:

James Bucky Carter, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of English Education at the University of Texas at El Paso. His work focuses on literacy issues and popular culture’s connections to education. His work has appeared in Marvels and Tales, ImageTexT, and International Journal of Comic Art. He has taught middle school, high school, community college, and university courses. He is the editor of Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel, which advises middle and high school teachers ideas on how to use graphic novels in their classrooms.

Dr. Michael Bitz, Ed.D.,
is the founder of The Comic Book Project and co-founder of the Youth Music Exchange is an internationally recognized innovator in education and is the first recipient of the Mind Trust fellowship in educational entrepreneurship. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Early Career Award from Teachers College, Columbia University and is the author of two forthcoming books: Manga High (Harvard Education Press) and When Commas Meet Kryptonite (Teachers College Press).

John Shableski Diamond Book Distributors

Ali T. Kokmen, Del Rey Manga/Random House Publishing Group

Sunday, August 3, 2008

White Shaka's First South African Review: Great Read

This review gives us a big thumb's up!

Heerlike avontuur maak a lekker lees.



I was really taken by White Shaka Boy.

The author lives in New York but he grew up in Durban.

The history behind the book is so interesting it is worth reading it for that alone.

But before you think it is boring listen to how the story goes: Brad Mahon is a white
guy from Brooklyn who dreams of being a rapper.

Before he can become a student he discovers he is filthy rich. The college admissions tell him that his great-great grandfather was a Zulu chief.

When he gets to South Africa things turn out to be pretty dangerous and the strife gets ugly.

Luckily, he makes friends who help him deal with the situation: a beautiful lawyer, Busi, the attrac
tive Zulu girl who captivates Brad, Mu his musical sidekick and Mwazi, the male nurse who is also a witch-doctor.

Brad's music becomes the key to solving the problem....

The book comes with a great accompanying music CD. If you can get your hnds on it, you'll enjoy it.

I am look
ing forward to Vol. 2

Clarissa Grobler
(People's Paper)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

White Shaka in the News - The Inquirer Profile

Author Alan Brody and the White Shaka story are profiled in the Scarsdale Inquirer.

[If you are unable to read this click here.]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who is White Shaka?

White Shaka is a kind of Barack Obama-in reverse story based on an actual historical occurrence in South Africa in the mid 19th Century.

A white settler, already versed in the ways of the Zulu's was invited by the Paramount Chief, or King, to become a chief with a huge swath of land, his own army and 49 wives.

At one point, he controlled 10 of the 13 Chieftanships of Zululand.

White Shaka Trailer

In his time he created a great fortune, had a fallout with the King but flourished for years afterwards as a local chief. After he died, his wealth was lost and his 100+ mixed race descendants suddenly found themselves in a very uncomfortable position - not very welcome among full-blooded Zulus and not welcome at all among whites.

Many left for other provinces. Some went overseas - the lightest-skinned ones passing for whites in Europe and the U.S.

White Shaka is about one of them, in Brooklyn, NY who discovers his heritage and goes back to claim it only to find him immersed in the wars and great historical conflicts of Africa and the West, all played out in the stunning backdrop of Zululand (now KwaZulu).

Book Release Date April 19, 2008

New York Times 1882 - Historical Sources

Just about everything written about the original "White Shaka" is out of print. But recently, the New York Times added the original stories written about him in the 1880's to their archives.

There are other sources, including his own biography.

But they are long out of print.

The best recent source is the very popular American study of the Zulus, "The Washing of the Spears."

The bigger question is: how and why was this story so overlooked?

The answer has a lot to do with political and social constructs of South Africa - when the white racist, apartheid government ran the country, a story of a mixed race clan was technically illegal. In the post-apartheid, African Government, the mixed race story is still awkward.

But in a world of blending races and culture - this story is extremely relevant.

White Shaka, the Graphic Novel, brings it all up to date and ties together the historical sources with the current perspectives of life, culture and conflict in the New South Africa.