Miss SA opens up about bullying trauma in her children's book

Musida hopes youngsters see themselves reflected in the storyline

22 July 2021 - 18:01
By emmanuel tjiya AND Emmanuel Tjiya
Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida
Image: Miss SA Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida

Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida’s childhood and bullying trauma has inspired her children’s book Shudu Finds Her Magic.

The book, set to hit stores at the end of August, will be published in six SA languages – Afrikaans, English, Sesotho, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

The 25-year-old will open up in the book about the adjustment period she went through when she relocated from Limpopo to Gauteng and experienced bullying after joining a new school.

“The book is aimed at children aged between four and 12 years of age and deals with bullying and the power of friendship. I hope that youngsters will be able to see themselves reflected in the storyline and be able to take something positive away from it,” Musida said.

“The one lesson I want to impart is that when something bad is happening to you it is important to speak to an adult that you trust about it. This could be a parent, a family member, a teacher or an elder.

“Remember that being bullied is not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you. Nobody should have to go through what I went through.”

Musida worked with Chantelle and Burgen Thorne to display the artwork.

She plans to embark on a virtual school tour to promote the book.

The Miss SA Organisation and publisher Jacana Media are also planning to make the book accessible to children by donating copies to Childline and the SA Depression and Anxiety Group.

“We are proud of Shudu and what she has achieved with this book,” said Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss SA Organisation.

“We hope that it helps teach children how to cope with bullying as well as about kindness and compassion and what it means to be a friend. Shudu has always wanted to make a difference and she certainly has.”

This has been a big week for Musida as she celebrated her 25th birthday and graduated from Wits University with BA honours in international relations.

Musida will represent SA at the 70th edition of the Miss World pageant on December 16 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.