Where's Kweku Ananse?
"When a story-teller dies, a library burns." Ahmed Ezzarghani, Moroccan master story-teller.
A few decades ago families gathered around log-fires or in bright moonlight to hear oral stories told until they retired to bed. As an art, story-tellers employed many techniques to ensure stories are lively, entertaining and educative. Through story-telling, values and cultures have been passed on from one generation to the other. And many story-tellers have been trained in the process. Today, as technology gives way to new forms of entertainment, this once adored art is gradually fading away. And it appears any fight to keep it is a fight long lost.
When education was a mastery of one’s culture and values, oral story-telling was indeed significant, if not the only means of acquiring knowledge. It was an art of enormous importance, and still is, as is demonstrated in modern forms of oral communication by presenters on radio, teachers in classrooms, orators in seminars, and so on. Each one of these modern forms of oral story-telling requires a skill worth acquiring. Most of such skills were the same for African story-tellers by the log-fires. To mention a few, confidence, oratory, and intellectual development are what characterized masters of this art.
In decades gone these skills were only taught through story-telling. And as already indicated, there was an added benefit of passing on wisdom, culture and values from one generation to the other. Story-telling was then a means of education, entertainment and a way of life. Lessons were learned, values were taught, and people got entertained; thanks to one such notable character in many stories -- Kweku-Ananse! So I ask. Where is Kweku-Ananse?
To be continued…
Credit: Collegemag.net (This article was done by me and published on Collegemag.net website)