Two cousins who have never met in person decided to write some children's books to pass down the stories their grandfather told. In this episode, I speak with Akindele and Nadine about how they met, the history of their ancestors, and how Sierra Leon Folktales came to be.
Find out more about their children's books at https://sierraleonefolktales.com/
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Akindele is a grandson of Thomas A.L. Decker. He is a poet, writer, and historian born in Sierra Leone. His poems cover topics dealing with the middle-passage, identity, and African history. In 2012, he performed “Dancing in Blue Waters” at Busboy & Poets in Washington D.C., chronicling the middle-passage of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. In 2016 , he worked with GWB Commission’s ONE Campaign, celebrating the diverse ancestral heritage of Sierra Leoneans. He has served as a panelist and presenter for several platforms including the American Association of State and Local History on the topic of intercultural identity; and Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center on Maroon culture and the global African Diaspora. He is co-founder of African Curator, a Maryland-based company that publishes history books for children and installs Historical Markers curating the middle-passage. He resides in Maryland, USA with his family.
Nadine is a grandaughter of Thomas A.L. Decker and lives in London with her two cats! Although this is her first time writing a book it has always been a dream. She is currently working in compliance for a Charity and is studying her MSc in Organisational Psychology. In her free time, she likes to make skincare products and is very much enjoying the process of learning about her roots in Sierra Leone whilst working with Akindele and sharing her grandfather’s work.