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Senegalese Education Fund Library

Youth, Education and Culture in Africa


Madoulina : A Girl Who Wanted to Go to School (Story from West Africa)
by Joel Eboueme Bognomo, Joe Eoueme Bognomo, Joe Eoueme Bognmo

"Madoulina, an eight-year-old girl from Cameroon, would much rather go to school than sell fritters in the market place. But her family needs money, and that's more important than her education. Or so they think, until the day Madoulina meets Mr. Garba, a teacher. He concocts a plan so that Madoulina can go to class and sell the fritters to the school for lunch. Despite having to make up several weeks of homework, Madoulina is overjoyed to return to her friends and her lessons, and Mr. Garba ends up becoming "like a father" to her. The cultural differences between the US and Cameroon, which this book highlights, isn't wealth or class, but the attitudes toward education. It will be an eye-opener for most American children: in countries where child labor is necessary to sustain a family, education is a luxury. The bright, folksy illustrations unusually naive portray West African family life; fritters are cooked outdoors around a fire, and the kitchen ceiling is nothing but blue sky and the leaves of banana trees." (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. From Kirkus Reviews

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Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro : Schooling, Community, and Gender in East Africa
by Amy Stambach

"Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro is an ethnographic study of a school and community in East Africa. Stambach focuses on the role school plays in the development of the children's identity and relationships to their parents and community, as well as in the development of the region. At issue here are the competing influences of Western modernity and the cultural traditions of East Africa-ideas about gender roles, sexuality, identity, and family and communal obligations are all at stake. Stambach looks at the controversial practice of female circumcision in the context of school and community teachings about girls' bodies and examines cultural signifiers like music, clothing and food to discuss the tensions in the region." Editorial Review

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Fishing in the Sky : The Education of Namory Keita
by Donald Lawder

"In 1983, Lawder (The Wild Bird and Other Poems) volunteered for the Peace Corps at the age of 66 and was assigned to teach English in Bamako, the capital of Mali. This arresting memoir of the new life he experienced in West Africa more than makes up for the occasional passages of stilted prose. Lawder's involvement in the lives of the often impoverished people he met was heartfelt, and the Malians reciprocated by accepting him into their society. On a "name day" he was inducted into the Keita clan, one of whose leading ancestors was Namory of the subtitle. During his first three-year tenure, Lawder formed close ties with an extended Muslim family he met through a woman who cooked for him. He provides vivid portraits of the students he taught in debate and African American literature classes and describes his love affair with a young Malian woman that almost resulted in marriage. After two years in the U.S. Lawder returned to Bamako permanently, where, at the age of 78, he now lives with his adopted family of six African children, two of whom he rescued from the traditional custom of female genital excision. Photos. Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc." From Publishers Weekly

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Constructing Race : Youth, Identity, and Popular Culture in South Africa (Suny Series, Power, Social Identity, and Education)
by Nadine E. Dolby, Cameron McCarthy

"As apartheid crumbled in South Africa, racial identity was thrown into question. Based on a year-long ethnographic study of a multiracial high school in Durban, this book explores how youth make meaning of the still powerful, yet changing, idea of race. In a world saturated with media images and global commodities, fashion and music become charged, polarized racial identifiers. As youth engage with this world, race simultaneously persists and falters, providing us with a glimpse into the future of race both within South Africa and throughout urban youth cultures worldwide. " Constructing Race

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Sankofa : African Thought and Education (Studies in African and African-American Culture, Vol 11)
by Elleni Tedla

"This superbly written, moving document reveals the spiritual and functional basis of family life in an African country. It will enrich and enhance our own humanity.". Adelaide L. Sanford. Indigenous African education has rarely been presented, if ever, from a traditional African perspective in such a comprehensive manner. This book urges the building of a new form of African education firmly founded on all that is positive in indigenous thought and education to prevent the alienation and crisis facing African youth today. It also examines the impact of the concepts that underlie indigenous and Westernized education. Elleni Tedla. discusses traditional Amara (Ethiopian) thought and education in two chapters, giving us an in-depth illustration of African thought and education. The book underscores (1) the need to understand Africans on their own terms within the context of their culture, and (2) the necessity to be judicious in importing foreign ideas and institutions to Africa. Otherwise, the cultural and spiritual fabric of the African way of life will be torn beyond repair. This work has great implications for African and African American education." The publisher, Peter Lang Publishing

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Welcoming Spirit Home : Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community
by Sobonfu E. Some

"On a spiritual and global level, readers would be hard-pressed to find a better book on family values than Welcoming Spirit Home. Author Sobonfu Some, whose name means "keeper of rituals," narrates this collection of stories and traditions from her native tribe--the Dagara of Burkino Faso, Africa. Children are considered the soul of each village, according to the Dagara people, and as a result the tribe has numerous rituals that celebrate the arrival and raising of young ones. Page by page, Some explains these many exotic and loving rituals--from helping grandparents and babies bond to activities that support a "child's sense of worth." Even a woman's conception is cause for enormous community pride. Elders bathe the mother-to-be, dress her up, and then "introduce her and the incoming soul to the community." Everyone kisses her belly and sings songs of welcoming and joy. The tribe's simplistic lifestyle and genuine happiness seem to stem from its strong connection to the earth as well as the honoring of all tribal people--even the unborn." Amazon.com

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