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Monday, July 29, 2013



Photograph:Ananse, the Spider man, tells the children how he got stories from the Sky God for the people of the world to tell, from A Story, A Story, a retelling of an African myth by Gail E. Haley.
A story from South Africa

Kwesukasukela, long, long ago when giants used to walk free among everyone, when chickens used to talk, there was a widow who was very poor, she had a daughter named Tselane and she used to leave her and go to plough the fields. Every time she left for the fields, she would tell her not to open the door for anyone since it was dangerous for her and every time when she came back, she would sing to her with the loveliest voice ever, ”Tselane my child, Tshelane my child, come open the door”, and Tselane would also sing with the same lovely voice, ” yes mummy I hear you, yes mummy here I come!”, and she would open the door for her mother.

Not far away, there was a giant that used to listen to them, and every time wish that he could eat Tselane up because she was a very nice, tender snack for him!.
One day when the mother was not home, the giant came and sang with his rough voice,” Tselane my child, Tselane my child, come open the door!”, and Tselane laughed from inside the house and told the giant to go away!. The giant was very cross, and decided to go to the sangoma. The sangoma made the giant to swallow a very hot metal so that the giant’s voice can be sweet and beautiful like Tselane’s mother.

The following day when the giant went back, his voice was sweet and beautiful and Tselane thought that it was her mother and she opened the door and as quick as lightning the giant threw her into a sack and carried her over his shoulders. The giant was very pleased with himself and was jumping up and down with happiness, he came upon a house where they were having a party and the giant decided to take a break because he was tired and thirsty. He placed his sack down and asked for a beer. While he was drinking, the woman who was the host heard a person singing with a sad voice from the sack and decided to help her. She then sent the giant to fetch water at the stream for more beer in exchange and gave him a calabash with a hole. When the giant got to the stream, he tried to fill the calabash with water but he could not. In the meantime back at the house, the woman and her husband took out Tselane and filled the sack with all the nasty things they could lay their hands on, snakes, bees, lizards, wasps, crickets and frogs. Eventually the giant came back with water and because he was angry, he took his beer and sack and left. When he got home, he asked his son to fetch the sack outside, but the son got stung by a wasp and returned crying into the house. Then the giant sent the wife and she also got bitten by a snake and she also came back crying. By then the giant was fuming with rage and kicked them out of the house, took his sack and locked the door, leaving them outside. He went into the house alone and opened the sack, and guess what?, all the nasty animals, crickets, wasps, bees, snakes and everything that was in the sack came out and started stinging and biting him. He screamed and screamed and tried running out of the door but the door was locked!!. He could not even see where he was going because his eyes were already stung!. Eventually he managed to come out and ran to the river and plunged his head first in the muddy river bank. He got stuck there and turned into a tree.

If you go to the river today, you will notice a tree that has two branches, and that is the greedy giant.
As for Tselane she was taken back to her mother and they lived happily ever after!!!
Cosu, cosu, iyaphela!!