Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), fondly known as Madiba, selected these tales as some of his favourites, with the specific hope that Africa’s oldest stories, as well as a few new ones will be appreciated by children and adults worldwide.
Folktales are timeless and, although they are a product of a particular culture, they have universal relevance because they give insight into the human condition. Before folktales were recorded in books, they were told in order to survive in the memories of people. The storyteller, often a grandmother, chose a story from a bank of traditional tales, adjusting it according to her personality and the needs of the audience. Their participation made storytelling a communal activity.
This collection of Madiba’s favourites is certain to entertain and delight our readers, as well as give insight into the countries from which the tales have been sourced.