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Dumb Orphans

The Bundu Bunch Trilogy

The Bundu Bunch orphans, a community headman, a peer of the realm, a national leader. Some are more dumb than others. Some are not dumb at all.

After losing their parents to the AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, Sipho and his fellow orphans cannot start school. Les mer

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The Bundu Bunch orphans, a community headman, a peer of the realm, a national leader. Some are more dumb than others. Some are not dumb at all.

After losing their parents to the AIDS pandemic in southern Africa, Sipho and his fellow orphans cannot start school. Without an education, their prospects of escaping poverty are slim. Enter Aiyasha, the fifteen-year-old head of the orphan household. Aiyash uses her special talent to ensure her orphan charges receive the education they crave. But Aiyasha has a wider agenda: to promote social justice in her country where orphans will no longer have the “dumb” label attached to them.

Features of Oliver Twist, Robin Hood and Dick Whittington and His Cat play out in a contemporary African setting in this heartwarming and inspirational story.

“A charming and educational children’s book that inspires everyone to never give up, despite the odds.” Reedsy Discovery Team

“This is a story that has stayed with me since I devoured the book's pages. This book is written for young audiences, but I truly loved it as a 42-year-old. I recommend that all audiences read this story and let the words and simplistic illustrations inspire and teach them. The storytelling is so well done.” Amanda Renz.

“I did cry reading this book, a few times, tears of sadness at character deaths or misfortune and tears of joy for the moments of success and those heart-warming moments of bonding.” Romeo Aiyabei.

“An inspiring, emotional, heart-warming book that provides awareness and can hook you with suspense. I loved the comedic relief. It never failed to liven up the book and make me smile. I highly recommend it for pre-teens and teenagers, but it would be a great read for anyone.” Candra Contreras.

“Dumb” Orphans: The Bundu Bunch Trilogy is a novel based on the real lives of victims of the deadliest global pandemic of our time. A group of left behind and left alone AIDS orphans are called “dumb” by others in their southern African community. They struggle to overcome this label and unfair treatment by their community headman.
In the first book, Sipho takes readers on a journey through the lives and interests of his six fellow orphans, all aged 5-7 and known collectively as the Bundu Bunch. The group faces discrimination from both the headman of their community and other children, who belittle them for being unable to spell their own names. Although they yearn for an education, the headman does not allow them to attend school because of their inability to pay the fees. Instead, the headman forces the children to work for him. This bleak reality leads Sipho to worry that he’ll never achieve the same success as other children in his community. But the Bundu Bunch refuse to be held back by their circumstances. With the guidance of Aiyasha, the 15-year-old orphan who heads their household, they band together to devise a plan to improve their lives. The group’s perseverance and talent ultimately lead to a surprising outcome with some help from an unexpected source. Through their achievements, Sipho’s concerns are allayed, and he feels optimistic about his future.
In the second book, Elah takes over as the narrator. Sipho and his sister Jabu found Elah as a baby abandoned by the river. Elah is in awe of the older orphans, the Bundu Bunch, and wonders if Aiyasha will ever be as proud of her as she is of them. Aiyasha’s success with her orphans offends the community headman. When she faces an attempt on her life two new friends from England help her and Elah to flee their country. Elah sees their situation as a grand adventure and relishes exploring unknown places. Their journey across Africa is a mixture of scary moments and enlightening experiences.
As an illegal immigrant and asylum seeker in England, Aiyasha discovers that prejudice exists in cultures other than her own. However, she also learns that friendship and a shared purpose can overcome it. She also realises that international aid promises are not always reliable. With the help of her new friends, Aiyasha uses her special talent to counteract the consequences of government cuts in foreign aid budgets.
In the last book, Elah takes the narration to its conclusion. Aiyasha increasingly relies on Elah for her support and empathy as she manipulates her way to a powerful position in her own country of Initawse. Aiyasha implements pro-poor policies which are opposed by the privileged, who mount protests and demand that she is removed. Then tragedy strikes and Aiyasha disappears, presumed murdered by her political enemies. Sipho joins with one of the English girls to investigate, but they hit a dead end. Meanwhile, the talents of the rest of the Bundu Bunch shine ever more brightly in their own country and internationally. Elah watches on in dismay as she realises how much in their shadow she remains. Finally, Aiyasha reveals her secret whereabouts to her orphan family. She explains how, in reaching her ultimate goal, she has relied in equal measure on the various strengths of all her orphan charges, including Elah.


Bundu Bunch Publishing
20 x 13 cm

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