Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sikulu and Harambe

Sikulu the spider and Harambe the hippo are two characters developed by Kunle Oguneye. The first book in the series, Sikulu and Harambe by the Zambezi river: An African version of the Good Samaritan Story should be published in July 2008.

Now, I haven't read the story, but I'm already won over by the cover illustration. I hope it is representative of illustrations throughout the book. One of the reasons I believe I cannot remember many of the folktales I heard growing up is because the stories were not reinforced
with images (pictures or movies). Most of the books on African folktales lacked visual appeal so it is exciting to see that changing.

I wish Kunle Oguneye all the best with his book. I would love to be able to preview a few pages of the book but the "click here to read the book" link did not quite work for me. If you visit the site, check out the video of the author - he explains his inspiration for the characters - and I really like his concept. If the stories are well written, I easily see those characters becoming a hit with children.

Note: In my last post, I referred to a third email that I would address in another post...this is it.

A short note to say I will be back...

It took about 5 months for me to quit feeling guilty about not even trying to post a new story or say something on the blog. Initially, I blamed the site inactivity on various things - laptop crashed and I replaced it with a desktop instead of another laptop, then I moved to a new city, have a new 'busier' job and now a new baby. When SOLOMONSYDELLE said "Haba, update nah!", I was long gone. And I chose not to respond because I thought it was better to be gone than to make up more excuses. I had excuses (perhaps), but maintaining this site is something I continued to think about.

For a while, I checked emails from the website and it was a chore because it became all about deleting spam. So I stopped. And the longer I went without checking, the more I dreaded the spamfest I would encounter if I did. Last Friday, I decided to log in and do some mass deletes, but some emails caught my attention. One from Soyini was very encouraging. Soyini said

I have just discovered your website, and I have read your reasons for not submitting more stories.
I love the ones you posted so far...they remind me of the stories my grandfather use to tell us from his rocking chair on the front porch of his big house down in Americus, Georgia.
Please continue the stories...I read them to children in my youth program.
Some of us are called to do whatever we do...think about it...following your calling, you will not regret it.

Who wouldn't want to continue posting stories after reading that? Thanks Soyini!

To Ezinwoke who wanted to know if he could contribute stories...your stories would be most welcome. Just email me the story and I'll post it to the site. To your second question about reusing stories...the stories are 'public domain' AFAIK. The stories have been retold over and over in different fashions and you can retell in your own words. But if you reuse a story 'as is', then you need to cite the source - Note that this only applies to the stories written by me. If it was contributed by another author, their own rules will apply.

There's a third email that I will address in another blog post. If I missed your email in my mass delete frenzy, I apologize. And I thank you for writing.