Amara Para - A Positive or Poor Representation of Nigeria


Surrey, GB -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/08/2013 -- British children’s author, H Aitoro has produced a new series of children’s book titled Amara Para - Global Friendship which claims to celebrate Nigeria and Nigerian culture. Does the book live up to its claims or is a poor attempt to present Nigeria and Nigerian culture to a western audience?

Amara Para Global Friendship volume 4 celebrates five countries with Nigeria as one of the five. The first thing you notice about the book is its bright, colorful front cover with images of characters from each country in the book, wearing traditional dress. The Nigerian character is an Ijaw girl in traditional dress adorned with the traditional beads of the Ijaw. Seeing a Nigerian character in traditional dress especially an Ijaw who I do not believe I have ever seen represented in children’s book gave me a positive feeling about the Global Friendship series. It had started well. Would the inside of the book pleasantly surprise me? Well, I started reading the book from the first country which was Kazakhstan. I must confess I knew nothing about the Central Asian country but really enjoyed the well-presented information and beautifully illustrated pictures employed to educate the reader about this large country. I learned not just about the countries location but also about the people and culture of Kazakhstan and even about the Kazakh language through a handful of phrases presented in the book. Not what I was expecting!

Would H Aitoro represent Nigeria as well as Kazakhstan? After enjoying perusing the sections on Luxembourg and Mexico, I came to the section on Nigeria. The information and images were as good as the rest of the countries mentioned in the book. H Aitoro had presented Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Ijaw characters beautifully dressed in their traditional attire. The characters appeared so cute. The book even has a section on Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo languages for children to learn a few basic phrases. I don’t know why he didn’t include Ijaw language, which would have made sense to me. Global Friendship even teaches children about places in Nigeria such as the Zuma Rock, traditional Hausa buildings and the capital Abuja. H Aitoro, seems to have done his homework on Nigeria. The name Amara is a Nigerian Igbo name meaning grace. Is there are a Nigerian connection?

The author has packed Global Friendship with a wealth of information which is somehow enjoyable for both parent and child, while not being overwhelming. People will certainly gain an insight into Nigerian society and culture from this book. I think it makes an excellent read for both Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike.

You can find out more about Amara Para Global Friendship series @

Shola Olujagun