Kensika Monshengwo’s Book Introduces African Culture Through the Irish Language

Dublin-based children’s author Kensika Monshengwo, originally from Congo, has written a new children’s book that aims to introduce African culture into Irish homes by using the Irish language. 

The book, called Okani agus Banríocht an Chrogaill (Okani and The Crocodile Queendom in English), is also available in English, but Kensika hopes that by publishing it in Irish as well, he can introduce the culture of Africa in Irish homes and also introduce Irish to other cultures.

The book is a story inspired by Kensika’s mother, and is a bedtime story that is traditionally told to children in Congo.

The story is about a group of girls who go to the river to wash their clothes and one of them loses her ring in the river, leading her to an underworld Queendom.

Kensika explains that the story is about how “bad things can be a blessing in disguise” and that it is filled with morals and lessons, which he hopes to share with Irish children.

Kensika believes that his book has come at a good time, and that it is a good signal to show that people from outside of Ireland are contributing to making Ireland a better place.

He wants to make sure that everything he writes in English is also published in Irish, as it is his way of contributing to Ireland. 

He also hopes that it will encourage his children to learn the Irish language and learn about their culture, so they feel connected and that they belong to both.

However, the book is not just for children, it comes with lessons for older people as well. Kensika believes that by having a book that is a bit different, it might spark an interest in adults and that it is good for them to read an Irish book and learn about the Congo culture. 

He also believes that it will make children with African origin to learn the Irish language and that they will notice there are black people in it and might take an interest.


Joseph Omoniyi