By: Foday Manneh
A Gambian based in the United States of America, Momodou Ndow had authored a book with his niece, Saffie Jagne, and is due for release.
The book, initially written ten (10) years ago on the story “The Banjul Mosquitoes,” has been turned into a children’s book series and is scheduled for release in November 2022.
Momodou, who lives in San Francisco, California, fell in love with the idea of turning this book into a children’s book following a friend’s suggestion. However, the challenges in transitioning from adult audiences to younger ones gave him the thought to involve his little niece, Saffie Jagne as a co-author of the book.
“Of course, she said yes! I am her uncle, and when I say “Jump,” she says, “how high, Uncle Mo Ndow.” So Momodou said about Saffie’s acceptance.
“Saffie is a wonderful writer in her own right. I would have described her as a brilliant writer, but “brilliant” is the word most abused by the British.” He joked.
The Mosquitoes of Banjul is the first of the five books written by Momodou Ndow under his brand “MoBooks,” set for release.
Momodou said, “my vision for the MoBooks children’s series is to help improve reading culture by making reading a pleasure, especially for children in underprivileged homes, more so on the African continent.”
“My later Father was an educator, but I don’t recall him reading to me as a child. Reading is not part of our culture, even though early reading in any language is fundamental to cognitive development.
A report by UNICEF: the Gambia says two-thirds of ten-year-old children in The Gambia can’t read and understand simple texts has contributed to convincing Momodou to write this book.
Momodou outlines this book series seeks to contribute toward changing those narratives by making reading fun while providing much-needed context and representation simultaneously.
“For all who are not African, I would like to tell you that this book transcends race, color, and creed. It has a universal message that will resonate with anyone, regardless of geographical location or national origin,” Momodou told Alkamba Times.
He also challenged parents to get their copies of the book “you are never too old for a good bedtime story; otherwise, you will end up reading your child’s copy.”
The books will be published by Fye Network, a media company specializing in curating children’s African-inspired content.