Africa’s Folklore

There is a rich variety of storytelling traditions across Africa- some of which are gradually being lost with urbanization, while others continue to flourish. Folk stories are a mainstay and often incorporate music and dance. Most of the stories are fiction; imagination and creativity run wild, and magic and witchcraft have their place. With people, animals and nature for characters, a respect and acknowledgement of the power and spirit within them is developed. The folk stories serve various purposes including:

  • Educating people of their history and ancestors.
  • Explaining natural phenomena such as lightening and earthquakes.
  • Teaching morals and values such as obedience, kindness, forgiveness and patience.
  • Passing on traditions and beliefs.
  • Offering tots of wisdom and chiding misbehaviour.

It is often participatory; everyone interactively partakes in the experience and performance. The interaction most often takes the form of Call and Response: essentially, the main storyteller- The Caller– calls out a part of the story, to which the community will Respond, often in chorus.

For example, the Banyankore of western Uganda begin their folk stories with The Call: “Mbaganire? Mbaganire?” which loosely translates to: shall I tell you?
To which the listeners Respond in chorus “Tebere”, this translates to something like: We’re all ears! The listeners continue to respond in this way at regular intervals, encouraging/ cheering the narrator on.

People make up stories or learn them when they visit other homes or gatherings. Herdsmen swap stories as they graze their animals, and women on the way to/from fetching water. Everyone is encouraged to tell stories in turns as they gather to enjoy the cool evening breeze or sit around the fire. Orators are formed, gaining fame across the villages for their skills; humour, drama, emotion or whatever it is, attracts the crowds.

People learn to be attentive for, be it at the next gathering, or out in the fields with friends, their turn to narrate is sure to come soon.

Stay tuned …

A Mother, A Miracle

mir·a·cle (mirək(ə)l) n.
An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs

The journey of motherhood is nothing short of a Miracle. Whether it begins at conception, or with the decision to cherish and care for a child through adoption, it is one that continues for a lifetime.

Imagine it: her time, effort and sacrifices, nursing and nurturing, going the extra mile -and then some- to take care of her child, often at her own expense.
The pain of breast feeding- and then of weaning.
The sleepless nights, the frets, the screaming and scramming.

Can you feel the hurt the mother feels when her child is hurt?
Be it the “ouie” from getting the normal vaccination shots, or the pain of sickness, accidents or disability. The emotions- my goodness the emotions!

The joys of every attempt and achievement, from footsteps to words to awards, through silly giggles and inside jokes.

Her child’s pain and joy her own, forgetting herself and her needs in her bid to make sure her child’s needs are fully met.

She hides her pain, shame, suffering and sorrow to protect her child.
Daily, she shields her child with good thoughts, prayers and love.

She does all this, not by human strength or for human reward, but by that divine instinct and choice, propelling her on the heavenly mission of motherhood.
From toddler, through teenage, into adulthood, her motherhood never ceases.
She is a mother for life.

A Loving Mother is an expression of God’s Miracle in the life of her child.
She is not only the mother of her children, she is a mother to all.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
~Proverbs 31: 25

For these and many more countless Motherly Miracles, we thank you.

Happy Mothers’ Day Sweet Mothers!