The Elephant and the Bee by Jess de Boer

Reading and Q&A in conjunction with the Contemporary Small Press and Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster

Join us at 6pm on Thursday 26th May for an inspirational evening with Jess de Boer, whose memoir The Elephant and the Bee is published by Jacaranda Books

The Elephant and the Bee: On saving the world and other triumphant failures

The memoirs of a young Kenyan girl with Oprah-esque dreams whose lifelong quest to change the world leads her deep into the unknown, round the bend and then back again.

As a child, young Kenyan Jess de Boer knew that one day she would save the world. Leaving behind the comfort of home she sets out make her dream a reality. Many continents, adventures and a few hilarious mishaps later, Jess returns to Africa to dedicate herself to a new passion – beekeeping. Follow the beautifully illustrated misadventures of a young, modern-day explorer as she tackles the enormous challenges of aid in Africa, environmental concerns and conservation issues – often with humorous and dramatic results. When Oprah says, “Be all you can be” and “Live your best life” Jess believes the former and is dedicated to the latter. An insightful memoir from a twenty-something girl with big dreams, this book is a hurricane of energy; at times funny, ridiculous and educational, it is a sobering compendium of hard fought lessons and instructions for anyone out there who believes in their ability to stand up, shout out and make a difference.

Jess de Boer is a young Kenyan beekeeping expert, CSR consultant and cofounder of Barefoot Solutions Kenya. She is dedicated to promoting and producing sustainable, ethical practices in agriculture and food production and is a regular speaker on issues of permaculture and sustainable livelihoods. Jess was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya to a privileged Dutch family in the region. In 2014 Jess won The Africa Book Club Short Reads competition with her story The Honey Man. That same year, she represented Kenya in the Women’s Triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She continues to work as a beekeeper in Kenya and is still on a mission to one day save the world. The Elephant and the Bee is her first book.

Jess de Boer will be reading from her memoir and answering questions at The University of Westminster, 6-8pm Thursday 26th May: Westminster Forum 32-38 Wells St, London W1T 3UW.  Jess will be introduced and the Q&A facilitated by Sally-Shakti Willow, PhD researcher at the University of Westminster and Research Assistant at The Contemporary Small Press.  Please email for more information. 


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