Izi and Larry Children’s Books Series: Building A New Africa
Author: Izi & Larry Books
As I watched the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, not only was I mesmerized by the entertainment unfolding on the screen in front of me, but I was quite frankly flabbergasted by the magnitude of planning and execution such a magnificent spectacle must have taken. In short, I was profoundly proud to be British. Proud to be a citizen of a nation capable of producing such an extravaganza. And I certainly wasn’t alone, that ‘pride of nation’ was etched on the face of every British person in that stadium.
However, deep down I couldn’t help but wonder why such ‘pride of nation’ is so non-existent in Africa. Yes, in those moments I was most definitively proud to be a British citizen, but I was also a little envious that such pride (of ‘nation’ and not ‘self’) continues to evade my country of birth.
I’m sure that most Africans ask these questions of themselves — “Why aren’t I proud of my country? Why am I so quick to dismiss my continent?”
Granted, mistakes have been made, and in many cases, the same ones continue over and over. Is this enough reason though, for our nonchalant attitude towards our heritage?
After many months of asking myself why we Africans think so little of ourselves, I came to the conclusion that the main reason lies in having very little knowledge about our heritage, but even less about our different ethnic groups and their cultures.
There are three crucial characteristics of prosperous nations that are blatantly absent in much of Africa.
- Genuine tolerance for each other
A tolerance for the next person and their circumstances — irrespective of ethnic background, creed, or the way one looks.
This is something that needs to be taken very seriously. We need to encourage African children to love, respect and tolerate one another, regardless of background, circumstance, or aesthetics.
In the very first Izi and Larry book, Izi notices a tall green Dinosaur (Larry) in the corner of the zoo. He’s all by himself. None of the other animals are interacting with him because he looks so different. But, rather than ignore, or stay away from him because he’s different to all the others, Izi approaches Larry the Dinosaur, introduces herself, and offers him some sweets. Thus, an amazing and wonderful friendship begins.
We not only need to understand other cultures and creeds, but we must learn to tolerate and respect them. This is why Izi and Larry visit so many different places; thereby learning about different cultures and faiths. By appreciating and respecting different faiths and cultures, we stand a far better chance of being United in Love, Peace, and Progress.
The Amazing Adventures of Izi and Larry Children’s Books series is first and foremost an educational one. In addition to educating our children about African History and Culture, the books will empower them (children) with far better vocabulary; thereby strengthening their ability to structure good sentences more effectively.
So there we have it — Tolerance, Unity, and Education — the three pillars of successful and prosperous nations. It may be a little too late for our generation, but it certainly isn’t too late for children aged between 5 and 11 years.
This is what the Izi and Larry Children’s Books Series is about — educating children with Knowledge of our History and Culture, as well as empowering them with better Vocabulary, Reading, and Comprehension skills.
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