So how good is my day job that not long ago I had to attend a book launch at the City of Belmont library. There I saw the fabulous Taku Scrutton* enchanting a room full of school kids with a talk about her new book, Multicultural Me, which she wrote to ‘celebrate the cultural diversity and friendship of young people in Australia’.
It’s a simple book about profound issues – ‘inspired by students who told me they were struggling to make friends in school’ – and the children were so engaged. I sat at the side and watched them waving their hands in the air, totally focussed on her questions. The idea that we are different but share so many things really resonated with them. The fact that she herself, moving from Zimbabwe to Australia (at age 19), took a long time to fit in and make friends, is a poignant reminder of how we all need to belong.
Taku is a compelling presenter, too, as you can see from the lovely YouTube interview on her website – well worth the two minutes it takes to watch. (As well as this, on her YouTube channel, Taku TV, she talks about mentoring, youth leadership, her World Tour of Friendship, and shares her stand-up comedy snippets…)
For children who’d like to hear more (or adults who’d like to listen too), she talks about her life and inspiration on Multi-Me Radio, free on iTunes. ‘Why did I move from Zimbabwe to Australia? Why did I write this book? How tall am I? (Yes, someone has asked me that!) I hope you enjoying listening and I hope we can be friends.’
What’s next after Multicultural Me? Clearly lots of public speaking and hopefully more books: ‘I want to keep writing kids’ books to help children and grown-ups talk about multiculturalism, friendship and respect.’
*Update: Taku has reverted to her maiden name of Taku Mbudzi, but her website is the same,