Policy Centre for African Peoples

Engage, educate, lead

Bala in the Mali Kingdom -A Review


Bala in the Mali Kingdom is an entertaining and adventurous novel, which combines fiction and magic with real historical and cultural African heritage. Not only is this a historic novel but also one that introduces us to the need of love and trust in our lives through the unexpected adventures of Bala in a fictional world.

Bala In The Mali Kingdom - Book

Plot Summary

Bala is the main character, an eleven-year old boy, who travels to Cameroon to visit his mum’s side of the family in a small village called Mindassi. There, he suffers as small accident that impedes him to live his trip as he wished to. However, his grandfather lends him a beautiful and magical green stone ring that allows Bala to live plenty of adventures.

Through this mysterious ring Bala’s grandfather gives him, the boy is able to travel back in time to 13th century Mali Kingdom and discover Africa’s past in an exciting way with his good friend Oliver. Bala’s good heart helps King Sunjanta, the successor of King Maghan, to fight King Sumanguru of Sosso and maintain peace in the Mali Kingdom. Bala and Oliver believed in Sunjanta’s ability to be a good king and by being his friends, the two boys lived an extraordinary and intense part of 13th century African history with some magical twists.

This book is certainly a fun and original introduction to African history and culture while also being a good example of morality and trust. Full of adventures, this book seems to be the first of a set of adventurous books about Africa’s unique past through the eyes of Bala.


Review by Adriana Rodríguez Díaz, MSc


Review by           Adriana Rodríguez Díaz, MSc