“Afripod; What role do African storytellers play, if any in keeping the history of the continent alive?”
Our propensity to tell stories increases as we grow older. Our ability to tell worthy and life giving stories is shaped by our experiences amd our curiosity from childhood.
As far as I can remember, my grandmother always told stories, with the food she cooked, the choice of clothes she wore, her hairstyles, the choice of table linen or floral arrangements for the Sunday service at the local church , the songs we sung as we harvested millet inter the scorching sun , the rhythm of the Motor and pestle as we ground cassava or millet flour. It all makes sense now!
It all aways started with “Mbaganire mbaganire”(once upon a time ) , and a resounding “tebere” (time, time , time ) . A ring of fire and a cup of tea with some raw potatoes to roast in the ash under the burning fire. These stories , these moments are what unlocked family secrets , family traditions and recipes that were passed on from generations.
It was in these moments that we learnt about how life was for our parents, and their parents and their parents . Generations of knowledge passed on through folklore, dance , play , laughter , fire , rituals , everyone in their own unique way, telling their own unique stories , that eventually tie into everything that we are and authentically identify with today .
The biggest way to pass on knowledge is through stories and my do I love a great story. Everything I am , everything I dream of , has been in one way or the other , shaped by the stories I was told and or participated in telling as a child . The role of story tellers can never be overstated !