Rodney and Tracey Brown from Westridge were touched by a little girl’s journey, who was born prematurely. After birth, Lulu had to remain in the hospital for two weeks, that’s when her doctors notified social workers to place the little girl in a place of safety as her biological mother struggled with substance abuse.
The Mitchells Plain couple has been co-parenting alongside the biological family of the two-year-old. The toddler has her own Facebook page and has melted the hearts of thousands of social media users has not always had it easy. She was sent to Hannah’s Place of Safety, a safe house for abandoned and neglected babies in Mitchells Plain. It was here that supervisor Tracey and board member Rodney fell in love with the person they now call their princess.
“This was where my wife bonded with her and I got involved when she came back to Hannah’s Place,” said Rodney. He added that babies usually stayed at the safe house for about three months or more, but Lulu stayed for five months and she thrived.
“Because Lulu is dear to us, it was important for Lulu to tell her story,” said the Browns. They launched a book titled: Lulu – an adventure and fun series two weeks ago. In the first two days of its launch, Lulu sold 200 books which included a Lulu facemask and keyring.
According to Rodney, the book took about 20 minutes to write as it was easy to write about the toddler who loved playing dominoes, had a love for cars, skipping and playing with their Jack Russel, Max and watching her favourite cartoon, Peppa Pig.
The concept of the book is to celebrate her life and for her to inspire her siblings and others out there. Lulu needs to be an inspiration, especially where she comes from. Rodney says there is an educational aspect to the book and that he hopes to see Lulu’s book in each school and household as the target market is for children aged between two and eight years old.
“There are many other Lulu’s on the Cape Flats who are not as privileged to be loved by two families as Lulu is,” said Rodney. “We want to encourage reading in children and families again. There’s more to those tablets, and YouTube videos. Lulu has a social media following and she has placed such a huge role in galvanising others. People relate to Lulu as being a part of them,” Rodney said.
Lulu is now bilingual as she speaks English and Afrikaans and the couple aims to have follow up books as Lulu grows up.