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"Dumb" Orphans: The Bundu Bunch Trilogy

By Allan Low

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.

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Book I: Aiyasha’s Bottomless Briefcase 

A group of five to seven year old orphans from the Bundami valley in southern Africa call themselves the Bundu Bunch. 

They enjoy learning about their surroundings. They wish they could also attend classes to learn to read and do sums so they can stop being called “Dumb Oprhans”.

Can the Bundu Bunch find a way of overcoming unfair treatment by the headman of their community with the help of Aiyasha, the fifteen year old girl who is the head of their orphan household?

Book II: Aiyasha’s Appeal

Aiyasha makes two new friends from England as she faces an attempt on her life, becomes an illegal immigrant and seeks asylum. These friends also help her cope with the consequences of overseas aid cuts on the futures of her orphan charges: the Bundu Bunch.

Book III: Aiyasha’s Magical Legacy

As an exile, Aiyasha watches from afar as her compatriots suffer in a society divided between poverty of the many and privilege of the few. Aiyasha is determined to do something to turn around the fortunes of her beloved country. She has to rely on her special gift, her wits and the various talents of the members of the Bundu Bunch, which were fostered in their early years, when they came to live with Aiyasha in the orphan hut in the Bundami valley.


A very touching and inspiring storyline, enhanced with some beautifully evocative descriptions and imagery, which ends on a positive and uplifting note. It also provides fascinating information on aspects of African culture, geography and the environment. The Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books

The Bundu Bunch Trilogy is an overall positive tale of family support, teamwork and working hard to overcome obstacles. Through the plotline of the different stories there’s a gentle introduction to discussion of poverty, international aid, immigration and refugees and more. With illustrations depicting key scenes at the end of some chapters this represents an easy way to introduce these topics for younger readers. LoveReading4Kids Ambassador

Further information - Author website


Nomalizo Gumbi – Makhwane community member

This novel is a true reflection of the effect HIV has caused to young children. The difference it brought between vulnerable and rich families. The privileges enjoyed by the rich at the expense of the poor. The book also shows that with education you can unlock to stiffest locks. The way Dr. Low understands our system of government and our way of life and thinking left me surprised.

Jo Long

A beautifully written book which holds the interest from the first page.  A story covering poverty, rejection and isolation of the orphans of the Bundu Bunch and their aspirations for an education and a chance to better themselves. Their opportunity comes in the form of Aiyasha and her determination to love them and educate them. The book covers inequality, corruption and the toll of disease and climate change and the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity. A remarkable book.

Official OnlineBookClub.org review

The fact is that every child is important and deserves the same quantity and quality of care, support, and provisions put in place by the government; inequality should be frowned upon.

Aiyasha, orphaned at the age of fifteen, is given the responsibility of taking care of seven other orphans without adequate food, good living conditions, and education. Amidst the taunts from Samu and Meyego, these did not stop looking on the bright side of life. Allan Low proves that something marvelous can still come out of the less privileged in his book, "Dumb" Orphans: A Bundu Bunch Trilogy.

Low looks into the affairs of man, including man's behavior when privileged with a powerful position. He gives a clear-cut distinction between how many egocentric leaders act when in power and how selfless leaders act when in power through the characters of Meyego, Initiwase's Chief Headman, and Aiyasha. He exposes the wickedness and cold-heartedness of the blacks towards the blacks. The author also talked about the many ills perpetuated on the less privileged ones in society, especially the orphans, by the very same ones who were meant to protect them and take a stand for them.

One interesting theme running through the story is the theme of resilience and determination. Although the Bundu Bunch were labeled 'dumb' by the other privileged children, resilience and determination was the spice that flavored their stay in Bundami. I discovered that these virtues are not for a select few. It is for all who would love to win the battle of life valiantly because, through resilience and determination, all you ever desire can and will be yours, just like Elah's dream came through.

The author establishes this point passionately. I saw that anyone willing and eager for success and ready to put in commensurate efforts would truly succeed and amount to something great. Every success begins first with willingness. I admire Sakhile singularly for her willingness and eagerness to learn new things. This stood her out from every other member of the Bundu family.

I love how the book was divided into three reasonably easy parts to read and grasp. Its tone, organization, structure, punctuation, and illustrations made this book a beautiful and inspiring story. I disliked nothing about the book. Though I stumbled on a couple of mistakes, it isn't enough to make me doubt that this book was still well-edited. Hence, in glad to rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

This book is an inspiring story every teenager should read, and I will recommend it to them. It should be included in the list of literary texts for schools.


I worked in Africa for 47 years and it was a great reminder of so many cultural aspects of life for African children. Rural life is tough. I loved the story line with its twist and the hope that is available for children who can receive education. I have been recommending it to all my friends.

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