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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 - or use our online contact form.

-Omowunmi 2006 - 2009
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