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Welcome!

I started this blog quite selfishly and yet not.
I had just become a new mum and I needed a space to air out my thoughts.
I’ve never doubted the strength of Womankind but I never could have imagined how motherhood could be challenging and wonderful in its unique way.
There were just so many things that we never talk about or shared… from stretchmarks, to morning sickness, or attachments and hair loss...
I felt like i entered a brand new space where I was expected to know exactly what to do..when really I hadn’t a clue
I decided to blog as therapy, and so I happily receive your comments of support and understanding, annoyance and mockery.
It’s all welcome!
Thank you for joining me on this journey with me, and more importantly do share it with a woman you know.
I recently decided to write childrens books with a particular focus on increasing representation in books.
I would like to play my part building up the self esteem of a new generation of children.
Thanks for Reading!

Emily

Partial Stories

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This post is not about children’s literature per say
But I promise, it is related

Yesterday I had a light bulb moment
I realized why it was so important and easy for me to make the decision to start writing books for my children.
And here is why..

More than 10years ago I started my Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient History and Social Anthropology at the University College London (UCL) in the UK.
It’s a great university for that subject and I was bouncing off the wall with excitement.
In those three years I learnt something important about academia.
History was defined as whatever happened to the romanticized ancient world of Greece, Rome, the UK and maybe the rest of Europe sometimes.
The rest of the world didn’t matter, never did anything, barely existed and therefore could not have contributed to anything of significance.

I was so frustrated in every single class and questioned my lecturers constantly.
I was told that if I wanted to know about Africans there would be a module on ‘slave…

Sannu Book Release

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One of the fun things I get to do apart from work and family life,
is to be a part of a voluntary organisation called Mer BarnKultur.
The swedish organisation aims to

- promote the provision of children’s culture with a modern African-Swedish perspective
- support and publish children’s books with a modern African-Swedish perspective
- and thereby create role models and work against Afrophobia in society

and I am lucky enough to sit on the board!

so last week, on behalf of MeR barnkultur I attended the book release for 'Sannu', a beautiful poetry compilation by Mariama Jobe.
Mariama won the title of 'Örtens Poet', in 2016, aged 20 and continues to evoke and provoke through her words and eloquence.

It was an unconcentional event,
more intimate and moving
but please read more here and enjoy some photos below


Reading with Purpose

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In our house we read because that’s the way it has always been
I come from a long line of educators and my mum raised us with love and books
I remember as a child she brought a carpenter into our room to build a book shelf the length of the longest wall
that bookshelf was filled with all sort of books from one end to another.

so, when I had kids of my own,
I filled their room with books, simply to nurture the love of reading.
It was only later that I found purpose in reading with my children.

For one, it gives us that alone time, after sometimes very long and busy days
but mostly because it lets me share something on my mind with the little one
AND it also provides us a starting point for a conversation on a number of topics.

My daughter is now 4 and so it is only normal that she is noticing and trying to understand the world she is in.
when I talk about this, I am often told "it is just a phase, it will pass."
Actually, it is natural human development and we as adults shoul…

Why are you brown?

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We love Todd Parr books!

They are great for most ages
and show characters in rainbow colors
For us it seems like a great starting point to discuss other things
My kids like most kids, do see color and difference and reflect on it




A few years ago, I was teaching kids aged 3 to 5.
One of the questions I often got was; ‘why are you brown’?
It may come across as a weird question but it isn’t really given my Swedish context
For most of the adults around, I could feel their discomfort, it felt like warning bells were sounding off ..race related discussion coming up, oh oh.
I personally have no issue discussing the concept of race or ethnicity as social constructs , but I realized that:


A. Most people are uncomfortable discussing it

B. As a teacher I felt it was not a welcome discussion either

C. It is important to discuss at the right age level


I reflected on this for quite a while and still do…. If we teach about respecting nature, we talk about why the grass is green, why some peopl…

Amazing Grace

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Amazing Grace has been a staple in our house since my girl was 1
she was too young but i got it from the library anyway.
its partly because I love the story but also because I read it as a girl.
Back then I was mesmerized by the book because the illustration of Grace was based on a friend of mine in The Gambia.
For me the adventures became real because the person was real.
So here we are over 20 years after and I was so pleased to find Grace in the library in Stockholm Sweden so I could introduce her to my little ones.

This book is illustrated beautifully and it deals with two issues that my girl will relate to:
- worrying that she isn’t good enough because she is a girl

- worrying that she isn’t good enough because her skin is brown

I love that the issues are there, plain in sight for the reader to address.
The mothers’ face and the grandmas approach are the illustration of my worry for my children most days.

The story has a happy ending,
focus on practice,
work hard
beli…

A New Project.. Introducing Mbife Books

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It has been a terribly long time since I blogged,
I have to say two kids
A PhD,
And a job have become quite the juggling act.
But everything seems to be coming along quite nicely now.
There has been one new development..I’ve decided to start my own company and here is why.

In March 2018, one of my greatest fears came to life,
my daughter (aged 4) looked at me and told me she didn’t want to be brown anymore.
She didn’t want to be different.
She wanted to look like everyone else.

Being a third culture kid myself, my husband and I have raised our children in a world as diverse as we could provide in our choice of schools, teachers, friends, tv shows, travels everything was deliberately selected and vetted to broaden her mind and show her the beauty and complexity of her culture.
She has already travelled 3 times to London, twice to LA, twice to the Gambia, once to Senegal and several other trips.

So, when she shared with me how she was feeling, I was not sure what else I coul…

Black Panther is HERE!

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I am a huge Marvel fan,
As an 80s baby, I loved the thunder cats, TMNT, Dragon Ball Z, and X-Men.
I devoured those comics again and again,
So, my excitement was at its peak when I heard Black Panther was being made.

I watched the trailers and read about the film and something inside me burst with excitement.
I can’t really think of any film that portrays an Africa that is mine,
that celebrates our music, tone of voice, fabrics, traditions and most importantly our diversity.

But let me give you some context.

I studied Social Anthropology and Ancient History at one of the best universities in the UK.
My university is ranked 7th in the QS World University Rankings and throughout my entire 3 year degree the only time I came across people of African origin, they were slaves or tribal people in remote villages.
When I tried to write my dissertation on African culture and challenge the status quo I was told it might be best to change university as they would not have the staff, expertise…