Another day, another exciting book release! On the menu today we have Bella's Adventure in Africa written by Zimbabwean sisters Rebecca Darko and Rutendo Muzambi.
This book series is about the journey of Bella and her parents across eight different African countries and all the fun and new experiences they encounters on their trip to the motherland. They travel to Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Rebecca and her sister’s goal was to write a story that dispelled stereotypical misconceptions about Africa.
“We had fond and happy memories of our childhood in Africa and [we] wanted other people to see that many African children grow up having adventures and [a] happy childhood contrary to the view that is sometimes heavily portrayed in the media.”
Her daughter’s experience before and after visiting Ghana was the story’s inspiration.
Prior to their 2013 trip, Rebecca realised that her daughter Isabella had misconceptions about what Africa would be like:
“She was expecting to see lions and elephants around or sick children as she had seen on charity TV adverts. However, she soon realised that Ghana was different from what she had envisioned and was surprised when we took her horseback riding at Labadi beach.”
After their trip, Rebecca also realised that her daughter's misconceptions aligned with those of both her and her sister's colleagues:
“My daughter’s experience also made me realise how important it was to give a more positive view of modern Africa. Both my sister and I felt that my daughter was a reflection of other young people who may not have ever been to Africa, but have been exposed to misconceptions about Africa. Thus, writing a children’s book that counteracted these stereotypes, would help make steps towards a building a more positive image of Africa.”
Their ultimate goal is for black children and their families to learn more about their African culture and heritage.
“From seeing themselves represented in books, we hope our stories can empower Black children to have a more positive sense of identity about their heritage and to be proud of it. We hope the book can encourage their families to learn more about African history and culture and to read more stories where Black children are represented in a positive light.”
Bella’s Adventure in Africa is definitely on our must read list and is available here.
Have you visited Africa and had any personal misconceptions dispelled? Share your experiences below!