In Memoriam: Remembering Niki Daly

16 January 2024

NB Publishers bids farewell to Niki Daly, who passed away on 15 January 2024 at the age of 77.

Celebrated South African author and artist Niki Daly needs no introduction. Lovers of children's books, art and music have come to know him as one of South Africa’s most successful writers and artists. His books are published locally and abroad, and he was shortlisted for the coveted Hans Christian Andersen Award and recently nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award. Niki believed that ‘South Africans, regardless of race and culture, are more alike than we are different’ and this belief inspired him to use his artistic talent to celebrate inclusivity and creativity. Niki lived with his wife, Jude, also an illustrator, in Kleinmond.

At NB Publishers, we are honoured to have been part of Niki’s literary journey. From his popular Jamela series to the most recent reprint of Not So Fast Songololo (2023). His art honours the imaginative powers of children, and he will be remembered fondly.

Niki’s publisher, Michelle Cooper said: ‘Joy for life runs through Niki Daly’s books like a golden thread, probably best embodied by the character of Jamela. Even in sickness, Niki managed to fill his days with joy. He lived a mindful life before it became a buzz word. A true artist, ever creative, Niki was still working on nikigami objects and sketch books for his granddaughter until recently. Telephone conversations would usually start with “How are the boys?”. The fact that Niki’s books are loved and cherished across the world, bears testament to his deep understanding of our shared humanity, portrayed in his books through words and pictures. It has been a wonderful honour to know Niki.’

May he rest in eternal peace, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and bring people together through the love of art and literature.

For media inquiries, please contact Mia de Beer at [email protected]