True Talk Africa C.I.C is a community interest company that seeks to foster a more tolerant and cohesive British society in which there is deeper understanding and acceptance of the ‘other’ especially as it relates to groups from sub Saharan Africa. This will be achieved by providing holistic education and comprehensive information about the cultural, literary, intellectual, political, social and historical dimensions of countries in Sub Saharan Africa to children, young people and adults based in diverse communities in South Yorkshire initially, with the view to expanding our focus to England and Wales in the longer-term.
It is hoped that by providing such an educational service the organisation will help to challenge unhelpful stereotypes and negative portrayals of the continent which often have implications for the welfare and wellbeing of both adults and young people from the African Diaspora living in the UK. In addition, it will seek to convey the multiplicity of stories and images that exist in Africa and foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the continent and its contributions to the world both in the past and present.
True Talk Africa seeks to fulfil this vision by providing holistic education and comprehensive information about the cultural, literary, intellectual, political, social and historical dimensions of countries in Sub Saharan Africa to children, young people and adults based in diverse communities in England and Wales in order to challenge unhelpful stereotypes and negative portrayals as well as convey the multiplicity of stories and images that exist in Africa and foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the continent and its contributions to the world both in the past and present.
‘A more tolerant and cohesive British society where there is deeper understanding and acceptance of the ‘other.’
Our Journey so far
The idea of True Talk Africa has long been in the making due to the constant consumption of limited, partial and often erroneous knowledge that are peddled about Africa not only in the media, but in broader public discourses and in what children are taught in schools. The resulting outcome is that in the UK, much of the information about sub Saharan Africa that is available is largely negative with a focus on the ‘lacks’ and the challenges facing the continent, which is still, in essence, perceived as the ‘dark’ continent full of ‘tribal’ savagery, famine and war (Al Jazeera, 9.7.2019). This is problematic as it can affect the wellbeing of individuals and groups from the African Diaspora who often have to deal with the limited narratives that are disseminated about the region they, or their parents, come from.
This can often lead to issues of identity amongst young people, in particular, as well as lack of confidence in themselves and a lack pride in their roots. The negative image of Africa can also have a negative educational impact. The one-dimensional portrayal of Africa is not only problematic for Black populations, but for other populations as their lack of knowledge about Africa and the contributions of its people to the world order and Britain, in particular, leads to a situation whereby White children do not understand their classmates and believe that they do not belong here (The Guardian, 13.07.20). As a result without interventions this situation will continue to further polarise our societies which, ultimately, does not aid social or community cohesion.
What others say about us
You need more information? Check what other people are saying about our services. They are very happy about our book club.
“These are a few things that I like about the book club. I really like how we get to read the book with everyone else and the questions that she asks us and if we don’t have any paper, we get to do it all together. I really like how we do it together. I really like the type of books and how she lets us pick the books. I really how they are all based on things that go on in Africa because normally people don’t do that much on Africa when they do book clubs. So that is another thing that I really like. And another thing I really like is that you know teachers when they teach, and their child is in that class? Well, her child is in that class [book club] and she treats her the same as everybody else because like that is how everyone needs to be treated in the end. So those are a few things I like.”
“In general I like it because I had never been in a book club before and I didn’t talk or discuss my culture so it was nice to have people who had the same culture as me and share the different stories about Africa,”
Meet our team
Let us introduce you to the team behind the True Talk Africa initiative.
(aka Afua Twum-Danso Imoh) holds a PhD in African Studies from the University of Birmingham and is an academic whose research specialises in children’s rights and childrearing practices in West Africa. Prior to her academic career she worked for a number of non-governmental organisations that focused on addressing issues of women’s rights, gender-based violence, governance and democracy in Africa in both leadership and junior roles. In addition to these she worked as a Researcher for Talking Africa, a community radio programme produced by the Africa Centre, which was her first involvement in an initiative that sought to engage in African issues in the UK from a perspective that sought balance and context. Afua has been an avid reader since she was a child. This love of reading has now combined with her favourite subject of history and is the driver behind her vision for True Talk Africa.
Has an academic background in African Studies and Migration, Mobility and Development and has worked for the past 15 years, mostly with African-led organisations, NGOs and platforms in Europe and Africa. She has extensively worked on social norms, social change and movement building. The common thread of Kékéli’s work is promoting an intersectional perspective to International Development and Human Rights, deconstructing the fundamental causes of inequality and advocating for people-centred policies and beneficiaries-led practice.
Maxine Greaves MBE
Maxine Greaves MBE is a former Equality and Community Engagement Manager at Sheffield Hallam University and has comprehensive knowledge and research experience of qualifications and inclusive practice frameworks. She was a key member of the award winning team involved in the ‘Supporting the transition from primary to secondary, an action research project in Sheffield’ (Sheffield Institute of Education (SIOE), Sheffield Hallam University & Sheffield City Council 2014 ). She was the lead co-ordinator in a collaborative project to progress innovative educational provision for adults from African, Asian and Minoritized Groups (AAMG) working as teaching assistants, through the development of a pilot vocational qualification. Through her work as a practitioner and researcher with a number of agencies she has developed projects to improve the educational experience of vulnerable and socially excluded young people in South Yorkshire.
Emily is a mother of 3 working in Commercial Litigation while holding her passion for all things Sub-Saharan African. Her undergrad qualification is in Politics with a minor in Economics. She also holds a Masters Degree in African Human and Sustainable Development.
Her interests centre on uplifting the girl child in all stages of her life, encouraging young females to be bold and live outside the box.”