MOONLIGHT STORIES FROM WEST AFRICA
by MICHAEL O. OJEWALE|
240 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5
Mr. Oni, a seventy-eight-year-old retired schoolteacher, is a naturalized American citizen. He spends his retirement by volunteering in elementary schools and telling folk tales from the Yoruba community.
In Yoruba culture, adults tell folk tales to young people, especially during the full moon. Under moonlight, adults and children sit in open village squares and tell stories. The high point of the storytelling is when the storyteller and listeners reason together to find some lessons from the stories. This is the informal way that morals, principles, and life lessons are passed down and learned.
The Tortoise is a prominent character in Yoruba folk tales. The Tortoise is almost always portrayed as a trickster, a phony, or a dubious personality. Mr. Oni tells these Tortoise stories so that the youngsters can learn true character and good habits. If the kids can learn from the mistakes of any of the characters, it might prevent them from making those mistakes themselves.
Peer pressure, bullying, anger management, risk taking, humility, individuality, self-control, respect, intuition, and such themes are covered without necessarily using those terms.
About The Author
Michael Ojewale holds a BS in agriculture from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria, an MS in animal science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, an MDiv in biblical studies, and a PhD in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana.
He served as Protestant chaplain of the University of Lagos in Akoka, Nigeria, before he relocated to the United States in the fall of 1996. He is a New York state-certified science teacher (biology 7–12), and also a board-certified clinical chaplain under the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. He completed his four units of clinical pastoral education in two hospitals in Manhattan, Beth-Israel Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, under the auspices of the Healthcare Chaplaincy Inc. He is an accomplished and published author of a dozen books.
This endeavor called Moonlight stories from West Africa is a bold creative effort … It reaffirms that there are values that weld people together as a civilized community, that is, values that make communities live together in large numbers in peace. The method depicts exactly the way the drama was played out over and over again from generation to generation in West Africa. The participatory way in which it is presented allows input from the listeners and elicits their contribution to the story from their own experiences thereby illustrating the participatory praxis, a teaching methodology first enunciated in Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It never fails to ensure that true learning takes place.
Andrew A. Omotoso BA (London) MA. Ed D (Columbia)
Former Registrar University of Lagos, Lagos Nigeria
Currently Registrar SUNY at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
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