First, about the photo. These are my students. Do they look like students? It was a day of celebration they called Letsatsi la Moetlo, or Cultural Day, where they each dressed like a different character found in Lesotho: miners, boys just finished with initiation, girls just finished with initiation, ntlamu dancers, shepherds, mothers, fathers, and on and on. At the point this photo was taken, we were all marching through the village toward the chief’s house. That was how we started the day.
Here’s a photo of me with Chief Thabo once we arrived at his house.
(Both this photo and the cover photo were taken by a student named Lerato Thaki.)
And about the design for the book cover. I chose the typeface Ride My Bike because I thought it looked a little bit like chalk written on the road. It also looked like it could be words coming from the silhouetted boy’s mouth. Julie took the typeface and the photo and wrapped it around, manipulated this and that, rearranged some words on the back, thickened a font, extended a line, and did some other magic on her Mac until it became what it is. She has a design company called Open Swim Creative, and I think she did a great job.
A couple more tidbits that you might never know: The mountain in the background is Kolo Mountain. And if you look at the spine of the print copy of the book, you mostly see one girl; that girl is the chief’s daughter, Nthabiseng Mokhele.by