Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tales by Moonlight on NTA

This was one of my favorite TV shows on NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) when I was a little girl. I looked forward to watching Tales by Moonlight every Sunday evening when ‘aunty’ told folktales to a group of boys and girls perched on the floor listening intently to her story. Each tale was enacted by actors (and some of the kids) where they played many animal roles (the folktales were full of tortoise stories) and the acting may have been poor (as someone pointed out to me recently) but I loved it. At the end of each tale, the kids took turns to tell 'aunty' what they learned from the story.

I went looking for information about the program, perhaps there is a story archive somewhere. Instead, I ran across this forum where someone alleged that the Tales by Moonlight videos are lost.
“I recently spoke with a family friend who says when he went to visit, he went to NTA to ask to buy the Tales by Moonlight videos. They told him they were all lost.If true, as they say then, only in Nigeria”

However, with some more searching, I was able to buy a Tales by Moonlight book published in 2002 from the African Books Collective at Michigan State University Press. The book is a collection of eight Tales by Moonlight stories representing each of Fulani, Urhobo, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ijaw, Ibibio and Efik ethnic groups (just a few of the many ethnic groups in Nigeria). Now I would like to contact NTA to seek permission to post one or a few of these stories on allfolktales but alas, the Contact Us link on their website does not work and I see no email addresses anywhere. Similarly, the forum is currently unavailable. I hope these are fixed soon.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure theres no more tales by moonlight videos any more. If thats true, then its really bad.

Igboman said...

There is much wisdom in African storytelling...loss of the complete collection of "Tales by Moonlight" videos is indeed tragic

folktaler said...

I agree, if the collection is lost, that is indeed tragic. However, it is not a verified fact, so there is still hope.

As of this morning though, the link to the NTA website does not even have their website - I hope they didn't neglect to pay their annual domain fees.

Anonymous said...

It's realy sad, it's not only Tales by moonlight. Much of our history has been thrown away. All those histroical speeches that were made before we got out independence, the coup plotters and much more. It's no wonder that we can never make a good hostorical film. God help us!

Temite said...

pls pls tell me you found the tales. I so loved those stories by aunty. It was the highlight of my whole family's week. I still remember the glee i felt whenver the team song started. God I would give a lot of money to get a copy of the videos.

folktaler said...

I wish/hope it isn't true that most of our history has been thrown away...I'm hoping misplaced to be later found is a more accurate representation. I'm hoping. Talking of historical speeches, coup plotters and more, I bought a set of DVDs (video CDs?) that I believe was called "Biafra". From the packaging, it looked like it would contain some good historical stuff...I was sorely disappointed as there was no sound and the picture was equally suspect. I will search for the CDs (if I haven't thrown them away) and write more about them.

temite, I did not find the tales as I did not continue my search for them. I do hope they exist and I would so love to see 'aunty' again. I believe it used to air on Sunday evenings...was it 6pm? I used to look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

nawa oh...nigeria. why can't anything be maintained properly except the pockets of our politicians?

Ebele said...

Hello,
I also remember that those tales by moonlight were later put into animation. Now I am helping a professor of mine who is writing a book on Animation (compiling the section on Nigeria)
Does anyone have a clue as to how to find out details concerning those animated series. I am not looking for the fil but stuff like:
-The length of the animated series
-The dates
-The director
-The animators who worked on the series

I would appreciate any information.
It is really a shame that we do not have an archivial system in Nigeria.
How could people so carelessly run down a nation that information like these completely disappears.

Thanks in advance for any information.

We are a new animation studio focusing on such stuff like african folk tales.
http://www.shrinkfish.com

Anonymous said...

Was tales by moonlight on NTA 2 channel 5 or was that Storyland?

Ezekiel said...

i miss those good old times

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the aunty's real name

Anonymous said...

Tale By Moonlight #childhoodmemories

Anonymous said...

No past records? This is sad

Anonymous said...

Dont even remind me of those good evenings with tales by moonlight.

Onyimadu Henry Spruced said...

If truly those Tales By Moonlight tapes are lost, it is a thing of shame!

How do you explain the fact that some of the materials that built us into who we are, and made us decipher good from bad using the typical African setting and dramatic technique lost? With due respect, that is irresponsibility on the part of the highly placed NTA management. Something is wrong. Please get these materials. Our children and yet unborn children need them.

ivy awofusi said...

I used to be one of the kids on Tales by Moonlight and I have been looking for the videos too. I now live in the States and so wanted my kids to see them. Very sad if lost. By the way, aunty's real name was Nkem Orakwe.

ivy awofusi said...

I used to be one of the kids on Tales by Moonlight and I have been looking for the videos too. I now live in the States and so wanted my kids to see them. Very sad if lost. By the way, aunty's real name was Nkem Orakwe.

folktaler said...

Hello Ivy, thanks for leaving a comment and sharing 'aunty's' name. It's great to have input from one of the kids on the show. It's sad to learn that even you have been looking for the videos.

I rarely get comments on this blog, but this post (which coincidentally will turn 6 years old tomorrow) continues to get a steady trickle. It demonstrates the connection many Nigerians who grew up with Tales by Moonlight made with the show. It wasn't just about the allfolktales, I think. It probably wasn't about the allfolktales at all, but about having characters on TV that many of us could relate with. There may have been other shows, but they probably did not run as long or have as broad a coverage as Tales by Moonlight did. I still hope that they are not lost, or are recovered...before the next anniversary of this post.

Joy said...

please you we come together and find ways of reviving those good old memories for the sake of our children? now im trying to remember these stories to share with my children, i can'T really put them together, that's how i stumbled on your sight. pls kee d job rolling, dnt get discouraged.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised with everybody's comments because we all know the intent of these stories then. We shouldn't be expecting our governmental administration to have the archive history of those videos because they are liquidity assets that can be turned into Billions of Naira (cash). So we should be trying on how to develop modern story telling about this corrupt leaders. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Very wonderful I luv dis blog, nd also the tales by moonlight was a great tv program. #goodmemories

maryjane Igwagu said...

i miss watching tales by moonlight, i remember i couldn't watch it unless i was done with my homework.

khaffy said...

Hmmmm, good old days, used to sit very close to the T.V set, shows like that should be revived.