August 29, 2022
AUTHOR Keziah Smith says her self-published book, Fun Dung a Jamdung With a Little Tups Of Consequence, is an appropriate way to pay homage to Jamaica during its 60th Independence anniversary.
“There was actually no relationship between the release date of my book and Jamaica’s 60th Independence. It was mere coincidence that it happened in a time like this, and what a way indeed to be reminiscing on our Jamaican culture in a book like this in our 60th year of Independence,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Released on July 6, the book is a preservation of Jamaican culture through illustrations and brilliant storytelling in Jamaican creole. It is available for purchase on Amazon and major bookstores islandwide.
“This story is relatable to Caribbean children overall. It encapsulates several themes such as disobedience —’hard ears pickney dead a sun hot’, friends —’choose your friends wisely’ and peer pressure,” Smith explained.
Hailing from Bayroad in Westmoreland, she drew inspiration from her own upbringing and cultural values to create this book as a tool to reach children in this day and age, preserving what could be perceived as dying aspects of Jamaican culture.
“I have observed that children of this era do not know the true authenticity of our true Jamaican culture and the games we played. This book will help to pass on our culture and the memories for generations to come,” the author added.
The educational value of this work makes it appropriate material for teaching English literature and drama in schools, especially useful for students with special needs who learn better through physical participation.
“This is not just a children’s story you read when you’re at home or bedtime; it is an educational storybook that can be used in and out of the classroom to teach children many life lessons as well as pass on to the younger generation our Jamaican culture, proverbs, games and traditional songs. My hope is that it will be used in our education system in the growth and development of our children,” she said.
A graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, she studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Drama in Education and is currently a drama/theatre arts teacher, which is where she discovered her capabilities as a writer.
“To be honest, I never saw myself as a writer; however, I was required to do this as a part of my degree completion in 2020. It was a very rocky start but then my lecturer guided me along the way through sleepless nights, stress, tears, frustration and confusion. At that moment, I still believed that writing was never for me but discovering that I could use my childhood experiences alongside my passion gave me a different joy and outlook on writing. When this book was completed I discovered that this may be my calling,” Smith further said.
With this passion and drive, the author is already in the process of completing her next literary project.
“What’s next for me as an author is that I am currently working on another story of similar nature which I hope to be on the market as well by March of 2023 and as a drama teacher, I am working on a drama programme to help slow learners and special needs students through the use of drama strategies,” Smith said.
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