Comments from parents on social networks, discussions in families as well as observing children in school playgrounds show that children of African descent do not have playful referents that resemble them and from which they can build their identity.
It is indeed clear that children of African origin build their identities more often than not with heroes of the cultures of their friends from other continents: Dragon Ball Z, Piscou magazine, Marvel superheroes, Disney characters, etc.
Well! … While Batman, Superman (and others of the throng of superheroes and heroines) actively participate in instilling a set of values (such as justice, the general interest,…) which reassure Caucasian children and make them dream of a better world,…
While Son Goku and his clique from the planet Vegeta participate in the same way by improving self-confidence in Asian children…
… Our little frizzy, fuzzy and curly heads turn around and cannot see legendary heroes behind who look like them, and who instill in them the intrinsic values of African cultures…
Far from seeking to prioritize cultural values (because all cultures are equal and evolve differently), it is more about making families and children of the African diaspora (and of those who reside in Africa), aware of the value of the cultures of their ancestors.
But for these roots to be genuine in children’s mind, they must be concrete and materialized, so that children are aware that they too have their own values to bring and share with their friends from other continents.
Most African parents listened to and dreamt of the heroes of fairytales when they were children: Who is that African parent who doesn’t recall the famous tales of Amadou Koumba, with: Kakou Ananze the spider, Kulu the turtle, Ze the panther, Ngandé the lion…? Not to mention the famous bone of Morlam,…?
But how many of us tell them to our children?
It has become almost natural to tell our little brown / black youngsters some Disney tales, with Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan …, before sending them into the arms of Morpheus …
Notwithstanding the beauty of these tales and the part they play in building children’s identity, they are not ideal referents for developing the identity and psyche of our little frizzy, fuzzy or curly heads.
BALLE À TERRE is an intergenerational magazine with primary focus on children at elementary level, from the age when they can read until the early teenagehood.
(A version of the magazine, intended for teenagers will be available very soon)
“BALLE A TERRE”: it is an African expression (particularly Cameroonian) taken from football jargon and used when everything has to be set back on the ground and start anew.
Why do we need to reset and start all over again? Because children of African origin are remarkably left out of when it comes to learning cultures and knowledge of Africa in general (It is therefore obvious that they feel uncomfortable in sharing culture with their friends from other continents).
Because we have to reshuffle the cards, reorganize ourselves, pass on knowledge (traditional and modern) through generations in order to sustainably build a strong and united Africa, with a diaspora which actively contributes with its various resources (brain power and material) to bringing this vision to fruition.
And this for the sake of the future generations.
This will inescapably involve popularizing knowledge on the history of Africa and its heroes, mutual knowledge of African populations, customs and traditions, and geographic knowledge of the continent (countries, cities, fauna, flora, rivers, etc.)
Yes, our little frizzy, fuzzy or curly heads must have referents and heroes who resemble them, who make them dream, and who help them build their identities. They must know their roots to better spread their wings and take off by demonstrating their multiple talents individually and collectively in the great concert of the continents.
The African continent has 54 countries whose official languages of communication (in their majority) are French and English.
In order to reach a wider audience (readers from African countries and readers from other continents …), the 64-page magazine will be divided into two parts: one in French and the other in English.
The benefit is that subscribers will be able to read the different sections in two different languages.
BALLE A TERRE MAGAZINE is a sweet escape for the family.
The various columns will offer a sublime journey that will immerse readers of all ages (and all continents), in the twists and turns of African cultures, through fairytales and legends of African countries, comics (with episodes that recount the way of life, the values and the adventures of heroes of the PANAFRIKA village), intergenerational activities for passing knowledge through generations (interactive reports: family cooking workshops, games and competitions that require the participation of all siblings , as well as parents and grandparents …), relaxing and tender moments (which will allow readers to relax, increase their general culture and their knowledge of Africa (through word search, puzzles…), the discovery of young African talents (who develop experiences in the fields of science, technology, computing, physics, chemistry,…), participation and constructive discussions through letters to the editor …
A must-have print edition
While it is true that the digital age makes the flow of information more easily accessible (while unfortunately making this information less relevant and very quickly overshadowed by more recent publications), we believe that a paper edition of the magazine (which will be delivered to your address every month), will foster your pleasure of reading and rereading each edition of BALLE A TERRE MAGAZINE as many times as you want, and display the poster (which will be offered in each edition of the magazine) on the walls of your child’s bedroom.
It’s no longer a secret today.
People of African origins are increasingly expressing their frustrations over what they characterize as a lack of recognition of their capacities and their cultures at their true worth, and consequently of Africa’s contribution to the writing of the great Universal History.
Numerous parents of African descent urge their children to work “at least twice as much” at school, to hope for the same recognition as children from other continents.
This situation exerts tremendous pressure on the frail shoulders of many children who end up losing their childlike innocence and self-confidence.
Several structures offer various skills in different fields (culinary, sports, beauty, health, artistic, literary, history, games, etc.), to participate in the well-being of populations of African descent, while fostering constructive exchanges with populations of other continents.
BALLE A TERRE MAGAZINE joins the praiseworthy approach of these structures and focuses its effort on the playful learning of the habits and customs of African cultures, while promoting intergenerational exchanges and the transmission of knowledge within families, as well as communication with families from other continents.
You can also follow the project on :