Where's Kweku Ananse? continued...
Not too far from the distant past, families gathered around log fires to teach wisdom, learn values and entertain each other; all through oral storytelling. Today, we have somewhat forgotten Kweku-Ananse, a notable character. So where is Kweku-Ananse?
Nostalgia is a wishful longing for the past. But life is for the living, and its purpose is to expand and increase in whichever way possible. So, for a whole generation to have forgotten about the immediate past is nothing bad, but a sign of positive increment and a happy present moment. Simply put, we have moved forward as a generation into a more sophisticated way of living; so have our education, entertainment, and the preservation of culture and values which were the main purpose of Kweku-Ananse stories. To make this clear let’s look at the following experiences.
To teach the values of hard work and the evil of laziness my class one reading book had the story of the Hawk and the Hen. To further entertain and teach values and culture I remember the era of Keysoap Concert Party. And oh, what happened to Akan Drama, Cantata, GBC One and GBC Two? We also had oral-story telling sessions during my lower primary school days. I now think the purpose of that was to inculcate the spirit of public speaking and self-confidence in us. I remember a story I used to tell, through which I got a life time correction of not using the past tense of a verb within a negative sentence. For example instead of ‘I didn’t tell a story’ I usually said ‘I didn’t told a story’ - thinking was in the past.
Each one of the aforementioned experiences was in the immediate past. And it’s very much like a transition zone from the days of Kweku-Ananse to the present day of a more sophisticated way of telling stories. As you read this now I’m telling you a story. Yet, you and I could be presently located at different parts of the world. Our lives have changed, so has our story-telling; and it has changed to be better!
From the log-fires to durbar centers to the national theatre, today, we find the characters of storytelling on television, CDs, DVDs, the internet, and many more sophisticated and relaxing avenues. More effective forms of my lower primary oral storytelling experience today are kids’ television reality shows, school talent competitions, quiz and spelling bees, and so on.
Kweku-Ananse was a lovely figure which defined story-telling at a time when it could only be oral by the fire side. Today, blogging is defining storytelling through writing, movies define storytelling through acting, and music defines storytelling through rhythm and beats. This is what Kweku-Ananse has become. And we get entertained, learn values, preserve our culture, and educate ourselves and each other.
Credit: Collegemag.net (This article was done by me and published on collegemag.net website)