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Stories from the GambiaSTORIES FROM THE GAMBIA

Author: Sally Singhateh 

Publisher: East African Educational Publishers

Stories from the Gambia is a collection of three traditional African tales. There are a myriad of lessons on greed, evil, treachery, hospitality and truth.

 Something else that the tales have in common is the Chief at the center of each of them. The first story, ‘Evil begets punishment’ is a story about Chief Abdou and his wife Maimuna. Chief Abdou barely knows Maimuna before he marries her and only discovers much later that she wants to kill him. ‘Modou and the Chief’ is about a young man named Modou, who wants to find his real mother. His mother left him in the care of an old woman after Modou’s father, a chief, chased her away. So he goes around a number of villages singing a song asking whoever claimed to be his mother to say where he was born. Only his real mother would know that he was born in the kitchen. In ‘It does not pay to be greedy’, the Chief makes Nabou, a very pretty but greedy girl, his eighth wife. The illustration here (in full colour) will tell you everything you need to know. You will be astonished to discover what happens to Nabou after she uses something that does not belong to her. 

 

 -First published in BINGWA Magazine Issue 11 2013