Maleka Mamuji the author of ‘School can be Cool’ is originally from Kenya and moved to Manchester UK when she was six years old. Maleka grew up in Manchester and qualified as a lawyer in London. Maleka currently lives in Mombasa, Kenya. Writing is a hobby she loves. She particularly enjoys writing about her childhood and is in the process of writing another children’s book which will be a series.

School can be Cool is based on the author’s own childhood experience of school. The author states that “School for me was a memorable experience, fun but tough at times. School is one of the most important times in life and it in many ways shapes our thinking and our way of dealing with situations as an adult. I wrote School can be Cool as a way of sharing my knowledge and experience of school and to help inspire children to enjoy their school life and to teach practical life skills to children.

School can be Cool deals with issues that most children regardless of what race, religion, country they live in will at some stage experience in their academic life and those skills learned in dealing with those situations can help translate into their adult life.

Moving from Kenya to England at a young age was a massive cultural adaption for me. I had never been to England and had no idea what it would be like except for what I had seen on television. I expected that everyone would have a posh accent and speak like the queen, so when I moved to Manchester I was quite surprised that the accent was not at all what I expected. For quite some time I didn’t understand the accent and dialect as they used many phrases I had never heard of. After living in Manchester for over twenty years of my life I have now mastered the accent and the Manchester lingo. It was interesting for me to learn as a child that my perception of what England was like was quite different in reality as even though English is the mother language in England, each place and city has its own dialect/accent.

In respect to my adaptation to a new school in a different country I found that my fellow classmates were quite inquisitive of my background and where I was from as I was from a different country. I was asked all sorts of questions, such as did I live on a tree in Kenya? Which made me laugh and also surprised me but these were common perceptions that some of the children had of Kenya and they were only asking because they wanted to learn as it was something different to what they were used to.

I believe it is important for children to appreciate and to learn about people from different cultures and backgrounds from a young age and with School can be Cool I have tried to achieve this by having children and teachers from different cultures and backgrounds in the book and also trying to also tackle some of the common misconceptions people have of those cultures and educating the children on multiculturalism

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The hard copy of the book is available in leading book shops in Kenya.