The highly anticipated book launch for Magnus the Mongoose Meets New Friends took place at the Ashanti Oasis Vegetarian Restaurant in New Kingston on November 28th, 2015 at 4p.m.
The evening got off to a late start but the intimate gathering of specially invited guests was suitably distracted with the delectable fare of Ashanti. Hors d'oeuvres were a colourful presentation of Jamaican vegan cuisine: fresh garden vegetable soup, fruit kebabs, veggie balls, bammy, fritters, breadfruit, gungo pea dip and the tastiest salsa ever!!
The event was a creative fusion of Jamaica and Africa. As guests filtered in, they were greeted with Jamaican folk music, a backdrop that consisted of banana leaves framing a colourful Magnus the Mongoose banner and bistro tables that were draped in traditional African prints. To signal the start of the evening, there was a drum call by Fosuwa of Fyah Place. The drum call follows the African tradition of bringing everyone together, old and young, and of welcoming the ancestors into the space.
Fosuwa from Fyah Place.
Photo credit: Charlotte Thorlak
MC Antonio Bell welcomed guests, dropped little known facts about mongooses (no it's not mongeese :) ) and expertly moved the proceedings along. He then invited author, Alison Latchman to address the crowd. Latchman thanked the guests for coming and introduced each of the characters in the book series. She explained that the idea started out as an animated series and will get there again eventually. The books will follow the episodes developed for television and future titles will deal with topical issues such as littering and bullying as well as educate about the Caribbean islands. The second book in the series is scheduled for release on Amazon.com mid March 2016. She went on to thank her partners - husband and designer, Anieph Latchman and illustrator, Marlo Scott for their support and contribution in making the project see the light of day.
Guests were treated to the musical stylings of Kelissa McDonald, a rising star on the reggae revival scene, whose silky vocals complimented the mood of the relaxed evening. She invited Chronixx, who was in the audience, for an impromptu performance, much to the added delight of the guests. Chronixx showed a more playful side as he and Latchman did a duet of the Magnus song to the tune of 'Sly Mongoose'.