Martine Vanderheyden

Martine Vanderheyden

I like my extended name: Martine Umutesi Vanderheyden-Lundahl. All by itself, it says my Belgorwandese origins and my heart ties to Norway. 

I was born in Belgium, in Verviers. Since my youngest age and despite the love I have for my native country, I have always dreamed of escaping, of living in countries where I would feel totally in my element, understood. 

Despite a chaotic school career, but thanks to the fierce will that characterizes me, I ended up flying to Norway to finish my studies there. In 2011, I obtained a master’s degree in spesialpedagogikk (specialized pedagogy). 

Since 2006, I have lived in this beautiful country. I gave birth to four beautiful little Vikings there: Sarah-Patricia, Oskar, William and Noemie-Sofie. Of course, I remain strongly connected to Belgium. I regularly return to my home region, the Eastern Region, for family stays. 

My path was not always easy. But I owe to my (mis)adventures the encounter with writing, through two autobiographical stories: “Une Adventure” (Édilivre, 2016) and “Two Suitcases, Joys and Misfortunes of A single Mum” (Editions NAKUONA Forlag, 2022). Since then, the desire to write has never left me. One thing led to another, new ideas, and new desires appeared. My third book, “Dans les yeux de mon prochain” is presented in the form of a reflective walk, the fruit of my meetings with some amazing people doing great things for our human societies.

My motto (homemade motto): 

“Why want to be and do like everyone else when you can make a nice difference by being yourself?”

Editions NAKUONA* Forlag 

 * NAKUONA means «I see you!» in Swahili. 

Éditions NAKUONA Forlag was born in January 2022, in response to a painful experience of professional harassment. In order not to collapse, I felt the need to create, to share, the need to open up a space for expression, for freedom of speech. 

To my surprise, everything happened very quickly: the talented authors Marielle Stommen, Jean-Luc Doumont and Alice Nsabimana joined me in the adventure in a few weeks. 

I was able to count immediately on the excellent design skills of Ben Ormstad, and on my chief proofreader Anne Guégant, alias «Œil de Lynx». 

The NAKUONA Forlag publishing house wants to be independent, small in size and big in quality. Its objective is to dedicate to authors and illustrators a platform that stands out for its way of welcoming works and people. We want that beyond the publishing services, you will find there human warmth, authenticity, pleasure of sharing and mutual aid. The energy that we transmit to each other will allow us to go further, together. 

To the question «Does this book fit into your editorial line?», I answer that our editorial line is above all a «line of the heart». 

Are you joining us?