I founded Dancing Twiga Press as a way to share my story and my love of Africa. Twiga is the Swahili word for giraffe. A giraffe has been part of my logo for Aerobics With Soul® since I created my workout in the early ‘80s. The graceful giraffe is special to me since it is the national symbol of my homeland, Tanzania. Dance is the source of my inspiration and my salvation, so of course, the giraffe is dancing!
DANCING SOUL TRILOGY
The three books, beginning with Africa’s Child, tell the story of Maria Nhambu’s life—the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. “Searingly personal” says Marian Wright Edelman in her Foreword to the book.
Book One: AFRICA’S CHILD
Africa’s Child is told through the eyes of a biracial girl growing up in an orphanage in East Africa. When we meet her at age five, she has no idea of her identity or family of origin, much less her tribe. We watch the young girl face challenges and grow as she makes her own way through her love of learning and dance. This captivating coming of age story, set in Africa, deals with issues of race, abuse, abandonment, love and loss.
Book Two: AMERICA’S DAUGHTER
America is now her home. Besides mastering her studies and American culture, she must learn about being a Black American. A soul-shaking return trip to Africa after ten years in America reconnected her to the land and people of her birth. In response, she creates Aerobics With Soul®, a fitness program based on African tribal dances.
Book Three: DRUM BEATS, HEART BEATS
Nhambu’s search for her origins takes her back to Tanzania on a powerful and revealing journey as she learns about her past.
She also deals with the pain of her dissolving marriage while contending with cancer and a hurricane. She takes us with her on trips back to her beloved Tanzania as she shares the forces that guide her life.