Pietermaritzburg-born writer and director, Mark McKeown, has always been passionate about this continent’s myths and legends. It’s probably why he created an “African fantasy” graphic novel trilogy around an ancient legend that was first told by a Wise One “many, many moons ago”. The first novel of The Tree of Life Trilogy, MA – An Original Graphic Novel, is an adaptation of the story from which all other stories have their roots; it is a tale that follows how everything as we know it has come into being.
The inspiration comes from the iconic tale Indaba, My Children written by Credo Mutwa, which McKeown was given the rights to adapt. The result: McKeown will be releasing the first graphic novel in a trilogy tribute to the 1964 book. McKeown has been working on this project for seven years and is supported by comic artist Andre Human. The first instalment hits bookshelves in June 2012 and proceeds from book sales will be donated to The Credo Mutwa Aids Hospital.
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THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
Indaba, My Children, was written by Credo Mutwa, the High Witchdoctor of the Zulus in 1964. He belongs to an ancient chain of knowledge-keepers whose duty it is to pass the profound knowledge of the ancestors down to their firstborn son. When his son was murdered, and thus the link in the chain of knowledge had been broken, he was determined not to let this profound ancient wisdom die with him, and so he wrote Indaba, My Children. In so doing, he broke his sacred oath and betrayed his lineage, becoming a traitor to his people. Indaba, My Children, like its author, has long since vanished into obscurity, yet it has been hailed as one of the top ten most iconic African Books ever written.