Atinuke’s first non-fiction title is a major publishing event: a celebration of all 55 countries on the African continent! Her beautifully-written text captures Africa’s unique mix of the modern and the traditional, as she explores its geography, its peoples, its animals, its history, its resources and its cultural diversity. The book divides Africa into five sections: South, East, West, Central and North, each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations.
It was at university with the pan-African associative movements and my Master’s degree in “Africa and Globalization” that I discovered the rich African past and became aware of my cultural alienation. I knew more about the history of France, Great Britain and Belgium than that of Cameroon and I realized that the books of my childhood had largely contributed to it. I realized that children’s and youth literature was a powerful tool for building the imagination and identity of young Africans, for reducing illegal immigration and low civic and patriotic awareness. But I realized with regret that African children’s books were little known and accessible. The authors of books for adults were more publicized, celebrated and promoted than those of children’s literature, which was considered a marginal field, a ghetto or a sector of little interest reserved for amateur authors.
From the 9th to 12 September 2021, Muna Kalati was represented through its Director Christian Elongué at the 37th Ibby Children’s Book International Congress In Moscow, under the theme «Great Big World Through Children’s Books: National and Foreign Literature — Role, Value, Impact on Young Readers in Different Countries». It was an opportunity to explore diversity of themes, characters, issues in children’s literature of the world, to discuss cultural variety which doesn’t prevent them from interweaving and interacting.