Brazil has the biggest black African diaspora outside of Africa. Now, when it comes to children’s media there is very little reflection of this fact. As we are based in Nigeria we didn’t really have any idea just how bad the situation was. That is until we were approached by several English speaking Brazilian fans of Bino & Fino asking if there was a Portuguese version of the show.
Finding activity books with black characters can sometimes be a challenge. We believe that it is important for kids to see themselves not only in their favourite shows but also in their coloring books as well.
It is no surprise that there a lack of true positive African voices in the world of children's media. What can children watch, read or play with to learn more about the wonderful continent in a positive genuine way? Not as some afterthought. The key words being 'genuine' , 'educational' , 'entertaining' and 'representative' . I'm not talking about Madagascar or Lion King here. Nothing against Disney but those movies ( or similar) are not what I'm referring to here as they don't really represent Africa in any real way beyond just being set there.
The Bino & Fino show has been quietly educating and entertaining children and families around the world for the since 2010. I say quietly because we've pretty much survived thanks to word of mouth. We don't have the budgets of the big guns like Disney etc. You could say we're an underdog. :-)
We always go nutty with excitement when we hear about new projects to increase diversity in children's toys. Here is one such project that we are loving right now. Meet Healthy Roots, a toy company that is teaching natural hair care to girls of colour and celebrating diversity.
Carrying on from the post listing Child Care Centers, Children & Clubs, Museums & Schools in in the U.S. That Teach Kids About Africa we've decided to make a separate list of organizations in Europe that do the same. Support these organisations if you can because many of them are doing some very tough unappreciated work.
Children's books are a very powerful tool in instilling self esteem and confidence in children. We know sometimes it can be a bit stressful to find good children's books on African culture. Below is a list of wonderfully illustrated children's books about Africa that will be great for your little one's library.
A list of museums, child care centers, after school clubs and schools that teach about Africa. These range from centres that add teaching about Africa into the mix of what they do through to Museums that are focused on the spreading Knowledge about Africa and the African Diaspora.
It always puts a smile on the face when you come across stories of young black and African students who are internationally recognized for their ingenuity. Here is one such example about a Nigerian student called Ufot Ukong. He's been breaking the internet and for all the good reasons.
Finding African clothing for your little one can some time require some serious searching on google or tracking down an African themed market close to your area. To save you the hassle we've put together a list of cute African clothing shops selling African inspired clothing for kids.
Looking for online African movie channels and television stations? Well, as internet speeds get faster on the continent there are a few dedicated online stations that stream television shows and movies from countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and many more. Here are a few of them. Let us know of any you know of that others might find interesting.
Sometimes we may slip up and eat stuff that is not really good for us and the family. I know I do. Especially when there's so much processed food around. That’s why it’s important to pack our day with superfoods to balance out those periods when we indulge a bit. Here's a list of simple vegetables that you can get at many markets in Africa that will make your day healthy and nutritious.
Travelling around Africa can be a fun and educative experience. Unfortunately many African families seem to prefer to travel abroad most times and not to other African countries. This is due to a couple of reasons.
Historically known as the land of ‘Lion Mountains’ in Portuguese, Sierra Leone is one of Africa’s most beautiful coastal peninsulas. In the west, Sierra Leone has 400km of coastline rich in marine life. The country is also blessed with low lying mangrove swamps, rain-forested plains and fertile farmlands, and finally a mountainous plateau in the east.
Finding black dolls to buy for kids can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. Now more then ever parents want greater diversity in children's toys. After a bit of research we've put together a short list of black dolls from around the world that we feel are making waves and adding value to children's lives.
Malawi is fondly referred to as the 'warm heart of Africa' for several reasons. It's people are among the friendliest and most vibrant in South East Africa. Most of it's people still live in rural communities and have a strong sense of tradition. Lilongwe is the largest and capital city of Malawi. The city is located in the central region of Malawi,near the borders with Mozambique and Zambia.