Golden Baobab is proud to introduce to you, Phoebe Prah, our very own hardworking and talented Programs Assistant. One of Phoebe’s duties at Golden Baobab is to help brainstorm for new and exciting projects that are relevant to Golden Baobab’s mission. One such project was GeeBee the Book Bag which Phoebe did an amazing job spearheading. Here’s her account of how the bag came into existence!

Hi everyone!

Although conceptualizing GeeBee was not easy, it certainly proved to be worthy! At one weekly Golden Baobab meeting towards the end of November last year, the team huddled together en “pensive” mode, thinking and brainstorming to come up with an end-of-year project that would tie together our plans for strategic corporate engagement, children-focused social impact and increased brand recognition. The flow of thinking went a bit like this:

How do we get high quality African children's books into the hands of children this Christmas holiday? How do we begin to build strong, lasting relationships with corporates and have these relationships translate into support for our organization? We came up with a great idea!

When the Christmas season is approaching, corporates give out a lot of freebies to their staff, ranging from cash vouchers to various gifts. What could our gift be? Books seemed likely but how about a book bag? Now that sounds like a Golden Baobab product! We would create an unforgettable book bag with such a cool character that it would be difficult for any company to reject it. We would call our new product: GeeBee the Book Bag.

That was just the beginning! Over the next five days, the Golden Baobab team liaised with our good friend illustrator, El Carna, to solidify the GeeBee character. We wanted GeeBee to be childish but with a quirky edge and an iconic expression that would make it recognizable any and everywhere. El Carna designed GeeBee's face. Then we partnered with some bag makers and printers and just like that our GeeBee the Book Bag was born! We loved the look of our bag’s outer character but the most satisfying part for us was the fact that the contents in GeeBee would go a long way to fulfill Golden Baobab’s vision: a world filled with wonder and possibility, one African children’s story at a time.

If you are reading this and still wondering, “so what exactly is GeeBee?” allow me to explain: GeeBee the Book Bag is an excitable book bag character who shares the joy of reading African children’s books with every child it meets. Each Book Bag is filled with three quality African children’s stories and a bookmark with a message from GeeBee that encourages the bag owner to keep reading African children’s books.

We approached various companies and pitched GeeBee as an “excitable and meaningful Christmas gift” for the children of staff and in the space of three weeks, we successfully sold over 700 books - an impressive feat!  The success of GeeBee was critical as that was the deciding factor as to whether it should be incorporated into Golden Baobab’s overall organizational model.

So this my friends, is how the much coveted GeeBee the Book Bag came to be! 

By Phoebe Prah – Programs Assistant

 In the middle is Phoebe holding a box of finished GeeBee Bags