Mama Africa

Mama Africa research is based around open questions. Each question opens up a topic for research. You can be as creative as you like in your answers.

Click here to see the questions.

Welcome to Mama Africa. This resource has been put together by researchers, artists and teachers to challenge popular perceptions about Africa and about African history. Inside you’ll find different topics and within each topic are a range of tasks to challenge you and help you choose a research path.

There are no right or wrong answers. We want you to choose your own method, your own way of working. You might want to write a poem or draw a picture or you might prefer to write a report or a short essay. You could make a speech to your class or even make a piece of music or a film. Work with your teacher and decide on the best course, based on the time and resources that you have.

You can use the internet to research or visit your library. You can ask your parents or elders or leaders in your community. You can contact experts – musicians, inventors, reporters, whoever you can find. There are also some guides within the resource to help unpack some of the subjects.

Most importantly you should ask yourself. What do you think? How can you find out more? How can you present what you know to others?

Please watch this short film if you’re accessing the resource for the first time…

How to use this resource

There are a range of questions in the resource that are designed to be the basis of a topic of enquiry. There are no right or wrong answers. The resource provides some examples of how the questions might be tackled, but the intention is that teachers can open up a topic as they see fit. Responses could be in the form of written work or could be an interpretive spoken word piece or a work of art. The intention is to engage pupils with unfamiliar subjects and help them to research along whichever path they choose, with their teacher’s guidance. Alongside each question you will find a reference to how the subject connects to the national curriculum at Key Stage 1 to 4.

Mama Africa and the school curriculum

The following statements are excerpts from the National Curriculum in England Framework for Key Stages 1 to 4. Mama Africa seeks to meet these criteria so that the resource can be used within the curriculum.

The National Curriculum

“The national curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum and should prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Schools are also free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.”


“The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said, and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications.”

Language and Literacy

“Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.”

Spoken language

“Pupils should learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They should be taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. The writing they do should include narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations.”