Have you heard of Abigail Isa? No, well you will. This 22 year old Phikwe woman takes talent to new heights. She is a musician, started her own publishing company and is a published author now too.
I was lucky to meet up with the super talented neo soul artist to discuss her latest project: a children’s book called ‘I am because I am.’
Who did you write the book for?
I wrote it mainly for my daughter. I felt teaching children about self-love was very important because throughout my life it’s something that I’ve struggled with. Sometimes parents just assume that children know how to love themselves, to care for themselves and know their self-worth.
So I wrote the book so that my daughter could have help to teach her to love herself, build her confidence and know that she comes first.
How did the book idea first start?
Well I hope I don’t cry. Towards the end of my pregnancy the father of my child became a bit erratic and emotionally abusive. When I came home from the hospital with my daughter that’s when I realised that he had a drug problem. Then he assaulted me.
That started a tornado of him thinking it was OK for him to hurt me and it just kept happening. I was getting body injuries and I couldn’t look after my daughter properly.
I decided that she was also getting older and was seeing this and it can’t be good for her. I started to mentally prepare myself to get away from him, because I knew it would be hard. Each time I tried to leave he would threaten to kill all of us. It was just getting really messy.
Then at the beginning of 2017, on New Year’s Day, he assaulted me really badly. My Dad, who doesn’t live in Gabs, had come to the house. He took me and my daughter out.
When I was in hospital I kept feeling really bad that my daughter shouldn’t have had to see those things. What if, maybe subconsciously, she’d gotten into her head that this was the way things were supposed to be like? It was upon me to make sure she doesn’t think that.
I realised it was hard for me to leave because I didn’t have confidence in myself to make the right decisions. I’d struggled with loving myself. So I thought – you know what, one thing I should be doing is showing my daughter that loving herself is the most important thing.
So I started to do affirmations. I started to write my own affirmations and my own gratitudes. Then I would read them to her. Even when she didn’t understand me she would come and sit on my knee and listen. And then I thought, you know what, I’m going to make a series of books about self-awareness and mindfulness for kids. So that as I’m teaching my daughter there are all these books and material I can use.
Affirmations are thoughts, thoughts affect our feelings, and feelings train our life experience. I think it’s so important that we teach our children to think good things and to intentionally put good thoughts in to their heads.
So once you had written the book what came next?
I focused on getting it illustrated and published but I couldn’t find a publisher locally. They were saying things like, “Bring 15,000 pula and we’ll publish your book.” I didn’t understand why, after all it cost less to print.
So my friend Christophersen and I partnered up. I described how I wanted the pictures to look and then he did each one.
I decided to start a publishing company to self-publish. It’s called Flying Indigo. I’m going to publish this book but also accumulate funds and make money from it. So that way I can publish other people’s books that are mindfulness-based.
I looked for sponsors; I wrote to companies and BotswanaCraft replied. They gave us the money we needed. They’ve been amazing. So has Bounceland; we are having our launch there.
When is the launch?
We’re looking at March 31st, it’s a Saturday afternoon. It’s P100 a ticket which admits one child and includes a book. Our double ticket is P150 for two kids and a book. It’s going to be a fun day. We’ll have a book reading, a bit of arts and crafts and lots of trampolining.
How has your family taken to the book?
My Dad really loves it! He was shocked. I guess no parent is exactly happy that their kid is a musician. My father is a pastor so when this book came along he thought it was really cool because he could see that I brought my spiritual side into my work. In an environment that anybody, religious or not can understand. So I think he was really happy with that.
Where can people get a book?
As Abigail and I wound up our interview I was amazed by the incredible talent that sat before me. ‘I am because I am’ is a fantastic book. Her voice is also amazing; you must watch her facebook videos or go see her at the next Naked Soul event! She is definitely somebody special. She’s a survivor who used the scars of her past to create something beautiful. I felt thankful for the privilege of getting to know Abigail Isa a little better.
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