The Children’s book, Kaluti is not only a local story, its locally published and written by a Fijian.
Author Shazia Usman says the story of Kaluti while a personal one for her is a story she would have loved to have read when she was younger and growing up, making sense of the many labels that would and continue to taunt her.
Kaluti, tells the fictional story of 10-year-old Zia who grapples with being labelled a deplorable term in reference to her skin colour.
Usman says the book not openly discusses colorism and how to deal with it, but highlights for some Fijians a daily reality.
“The whole story is about her trying to understand what this word means and why was she been referred to it and because Kaluti is an Indo-Fijian word or rather a Hindi word meaning, Blackie, literally it means, translates to Blackie. She’s trying to understand what does her skin colour have to do with her worth in this world, so if she’s not lighter skin, is she not good enough?”
Kaluti is currently available at the USP and Dominion book shops.