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Interview: How These Sisters Authored an African Story Book for Children – Princess Halima and the Kingdom of Affia

A peek into Princess Halima ‘s royal adventure!
Have you ever searched for “African story books for children” on Google? Unless you’re a new mom or mom of a toddler, you’d probably not think that that should be what you should be researching on the internet.
Earlier this month while checking our email updates and revisiting our vision for The GlowingColours.com as a platform that not only focuses on sharing news but also celebrates African entrepreneurs, we came across an email from YaAdam who happens to be an author of a new African story book – Princess Halima and the Kingdom of Affia.
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Long story short, that email led to a collaboration for a giveaway to one of our Instagram followers which ended successfully. We were absolutely content  and proud to have collaborated with YaAdam.
However, we knew that there was more to her journey as an African author. We wanted to discuss the book and go behind the scene to discover the inspiration for this story book for African children.
Princess Halima and the Kingdom of Affia is essentially the story of the adventures of an African Princess in 15th century Western Africa. Loosely based on the ancient Kingdom of Mali, the story gives readers a rare glimpse into the once thriving region.
Not only does the book offer insight about the adventures of this African Princess, the reader gets to be informed of African history.
How enriching could this be for African children?
YaAdam saw a gap in the publishing industry and took the chance like any entrepreneur to take advantage of the lack of diversity to educate children’s media.
Check out our interview with the author and find out the journey so far. Where next will we see Princess Halima? Ghana or Nigeria? Find out below!

 

The Princess Halima project was inspired by the birth of the first baby (grandchild) in the family, Halima Bah. Halima is of Guinean, Gambian, Tanzanian descent. –  With such a rich combination of African culture and history, we thought the best way to educate Halima about her many homelands was to start the series of books through which she will get to not only discover her heritage, but also learn about the African continent as a whole. The Royal Adventures of Princess Halima is a series of tales that will excite, amaze and educate the reader about the different countries in Africa while unlocking the wonders, mysteries and secrets of each nation through Princess Halima’s adventures.

  • Who is Princess Halima?

Princess Halima is a brave, curious and courageous girl that is intrigued by the wonders of the world but specifically her continent of Africa. As a Princess, she luckily gets to travel across the continent visiting cousins, friends and family. During each visit she takes time to explore all that these beautiful countries have to offer from the culture, fashion, languages, parks and  historic sites etc.

These adventures and experiences shape her worldly view.

  • When and why did you start writing this book? What kept you motivated?

In 2008, while in Ethiopia visiting our mother during the summer holidays my sisters and I, along with Halima accompanied her on work trips across the country visiting villages. We realized that wow, if just this one country had so many languages and different cultures within its borders there was so much more to discover across our continent.  We were motivated to teach Halima and all children about the wonders and mysteries of all 54 African nations.

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  • What do you think this book could teach us?

We want to bring Africa to the forefront and educate our readers that Africa is a continent full of rich history, and not the misconceived idea that Africa is a country.  We want our readers to find an escape into Africa’s vast richness and history while following Princess Halima in all her adventures.  And most importantly, we want to empower young minds with knowledge that will peak their interest to one-day jump on a plane and make the journey to Ghana, or Nigeria or any country in Africa!

  • The most valuable lesson you have learned on your journey with this book?

The most valuable lesson we have learned is patience and an understandable that just because we are passionate about this project and believe in its power, it will take time for others to jump on board. In addition, we have learned that while we have gotten significant support from our African communities it wasn’t that overwhelming support we anticipated. However, it doesn’t mean that the interest and love isn’t there, it just takes time for others so see your vision and feel your passion for something you so strongly believe in.

  • What is the best tip you can think of to give someone wanting to do what you do?

As cliché as this might sound, just keep planning and executing no matter how long it takes. This first book has been several years in the making, life happened to us all but we never gave up.

  • Where next should we expecting to see Princess Halima? Which other regions in Africa will she explore?

Princess Halima visited Tanzania last December and explored the beautiful countryside, parks and of course, Mountain Kilimanjaro. This week she is actually visiting Ghana. She hopes to finish her year visiting Gambia and Nigeria.

Her book sharing her adventures in Tanzania is currently in the works, with illustration and editing taking place right now. We expect to release this edition in December 2016. However, if all goes well with our Kick Starter campaign all four books exploring Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and Gambia will be released in December.

Visit the below link to learn and buy from our Kick Starter shop.

Princess Halima’s introductory book Princess Halima and the Kingdom of Affia is available now on Amazon and on our website princesshalima.com!

 

Photo Credit: YaAdam Fye

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