On an island in the middle of Lake Victoria, a yearly cultural tradition is about to take place: young girls will practice the generations-old art of teeth carving as they come of age.
Sanda, a young girl who’s held onto her joyful spirit in spite of her abusive aunt Nandele, is eager to participate in the festivities. She wants not just any carving, but a life-changing experience—a new smile of her own, one whose carved teeth will make her brave and beautiful.
And so, she sets out with her best friend and cousin Mune, in a journey that will teach her the value of the most important kind of beauty—beauty from within.
Sabina Mugassa Bingman, who also goes by “Sabby,” was born and raised in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, the tenth of eleven children. From a very young age, she enjoyed spending time with and telling stories to her nephews and nieces. She moved to the US in 1999 and graduated from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul with a master’s degree in Management Information Technology. She currently works as a Microsoft Windows server administrator.
Sabina enjoys serving in toddlers’ and babies’ classes at her local church. Her hobbies include running, listening to music, reading, writing, watching movies, and cooking. She and her husband Christopher are proud parents of two wonderful children, seven-year-old daughter Malaika and five-year-old son Kai. They reside in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.