(AllHipHop News) Toronto, Canada based poet, MC, and singer K’naan is releasing a new children’s book entitled When I Get Older: The Story Behind Wavin’ Flag.
When I Get Older tells the the story of K’naan, who was born in Somalia and escaped the outbreak of the Somali Civil war in 1991.
The book talks about the challenges K’naan faced adjusting to life in a new country after his family moved to New York, and then Toronto, Canada, as they sought asylum from war-stricken Somalia.
Tundra Books will be releasing the triumphant story in Canada and the United States on September 25 in hardcover and as and e-book. The story shows how music became a way for K’naan to connect with his past, with his classmates, and eventually with millions of people around the world.
In addition, the 32-page book comes in full-color with illustrations that include a brief history of the Somali conflict. The book also comes with the lyrics and the sheet music for “Wavin’ Flag”, K’naan’s #1 hit song.
“I think of empathy as a muscle in the soul, which develops through the nutrition we provide for it. The stories we hear as children can be that nutrition. I wanted to write a children’s story that reflects the new immigrant’s sense of family and identity, which can sometimes be lost in translation. In this book, the main character is “Wavin’ Flag”, a song whose ownership has been long claimed by children all over the world,” K’naan explained of his children’s book.
Born Keinan Abdi Warsame, K’naan got his break when he performed a spoken word piece before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1999.
A member of the audience, the singer Youssou N’Dour, was so impressed that he asked K’naan to take part in an album and tour, and since then, K’naan has performed in more than 86 countries and has received many honors, including three Juno Awards and the BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music.
During the Vancouver Olympics, K’naan also worked with other Canadian musicians and artists under the name Young Artists for Haiti to produce a charity version of “Wavin’ Flag” for victims in Haiti.
The song was used during the FIFA 2010 World Cup as a theme song. To date, there are 22 versions of the song that have reached #1 status in 19 countries.
K’naan’s highly anticipated third album, Country, God or the Girl, will be released this fall.