I grew up in West African Nigeria surrounded by folktales that involved
animals, especially the cunning tortoise. Most of them demonstrated moral
values while some may have been just for entertainment as I was unable
to identify the moral in those. Some of those with moral values I disagreed
with, in some cases thinking “what’s so bad about picking
a shiny fruit over a plain everyday-looking one”. Whichever category
a story fell into, I always enjoyed it intensely.
Now being a mother, I am anxious to share these stories
with my daughter but being far from home, the numerous sources of folk
tales I had are not available to her. What is there to do now but to tell
her those stories which I remember? So I begin with a story and discover
that not having thought of these stories for over a decade, the details
have faded to the recesses of my mind. How could I have forgotten my favorite
stories from childhood? I determine to dig deep and recall as much as
I can for who knows how much more I forget with each passing day. With
the help of my younger siblings and friends (several of whom like me,
cannot remember story details), I am piecing back each story and documenting
them for my daughter and others to enjoy.
The folk tales published on this site are popular stories from the Nigeria.
If you know something about Nigeria, you may know that it is a country
of many different cultures which means I need to be more specific. These
folk tales are of Yoruba origin but I am certain some of them are shared
by other cultural groups. You will also find that the same theme is repeated
in several stories but with a different twist. There are almost as many
accounts of “how the tortoise broke his shell” as there are
tortoises. But nevertheless, they all make for an interesting read.
Who am I? It’s answered in the ‘Why?’.
Enjoy. And feel free to send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
- or use our online contact form.