Chi Mary Kalu has written a book about Africa Day for her two sons.
Chi Mary Kalu has written a book about Africa Day for her two sons. Rob Williams

Mum's want for racial harmony inspires book

A YEARNING to teach her boys about their mother culture has led one Augustine Heights woman to put pen to paper.

Chinyere Mary Kalu was inspired by the Africa Day festival in Brisbane to foster a sense of cultural understanding in her boys - and in others - through a vibrant children's book called Africa Day.

"The inspiration came from their curiosity - they were very excited to be there as were many other children," she said.

Her two boys, David Chikezirim Kalu, 13 and Justin Obinna Kalu, 11 were "bubbling with excitement" on the day.

"They asked questions about some of the crafts and the activities and some of the festivities going on - I answered those questions to the best of my ability," Ms Kalu said.

"It just made me think, how much do they know about Africa being children who were born here.

"And how much, not just about Africa but diversity as a whole - how much do they know about where their friends come from and some of the things that excite people from different areas"

From food to fashion she said it's important to understand what make other cultures tick and enjoy the differences between.

"The meals and recipes are things they can enjoy and experience further by finding out the story behind it and how to make it," Ms Kalu said.

The Nigerian mum came to Australia in 2007 when she was just 30, moving first to the Wide Bay area, then to the south-east.

"I had very exciting memories a child especially in regards to culture, what we enjoy wearing and what we live to eat," Ms Kalu said.

"I feel like as an adult we have that responsibility to teach not just our children but other children and other people we meet.

"Where we come from and learn who they are and what they enjoy, that goes a long way for people to understand each other.

"When people understand each other they're more likely to embrace each other."

Ms Kalu will launch her book on September 7 at the Redbank Plains Community Centre. For more information, visit the Africa Day website: