Monday, 15 June 2009

Bad stories

In Ghana and lots of places in Africa we hear lots of stories growing up. These stories usually end with a lesson or a moral. One of the very popular stories I used to hear ends like this… at the end of the journey, the old lady wanted to reward the twins-Kwaku and Kwesi for their tiring efforts, so she asked them to go to a dark room and pick from a choice of drums.

On reaching the room Kwaku saw lots of drums of various sizes. Very big drums to the smallest of drums. Kwaku went for the big one. When he went home a lion came out from the drum and ate Kwaku. His brother on the other hand, picked the smallest drum- he was rewarded with plenty gold and a beautiful princess.

What sort of crap and b..s is this? See the sort of generation stories like these have turned us into. We think being poor is good- mediocrity is a daily bread.
I will make sure my kids never get to hear this kind of story. When they are faced with a choice of drums I want them to pick the smallest one…no..oh sorry the biggest there is. There is nothing greedy in a making a wise decision.


  1. ...or if your kids hear it, anyway, be sure to disabuse their minds. You have such a good point, here.

  2. I agree. While i think the prinicple of modesty and humility is important, i think we have warped it to mean that the worst possible think (poverty) is the best choice, which is not true. So i'll tell my kids that the principles/moral are true, but the story is crap, and then mebbe we can come up with our own stories to illustrate it.

  3. I agree with But not entirely. You see, these stories that were told to us had moral lessons to teach.

    In the case of the drums, I believe we can simply say the lesson teaches us not to be greedy, that bigger is not necessarily better etc. So you see, let your kids listen to these stories, only you have to make sure they get the right lesson out of the story.

  4. @ U all-)) not an insult,
    When we are always told to be modest and humble we end up loosing our freedom and some shine that comes with it. A little bit of greed here and there is good for achieving.

  5. But therein lies the rub - there is nothing greedy about choosing the bigger drum. What is wrong with the bigger drum? Was he selfish in choosing the bigger drum? The OPTION was presented to him. He did it legitly. I am asked to choose, and i choose the bigger. This has nothing to do with humility - just african mentality that self deprecating is humility


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