Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Celebrating the Continent of Africa

Ikhlas Khan
African Prime Minister 
of Bijapur, c. 1650
I have been researching and writing for Storytelling Magazine for 17 years and have amassed many stories from a variety of cultures and I decided to organize the stories by country and/or continent. This is the third in the series and today I am highlighting the continent of Africa. There are 54 countries in the continent of Africa. Conventionally, there are five main geographical regions or subregions in Africa. North, West, Central, East, and Southern. Wherever possible I have placed the stories in their specific subregions.

My hope is that this will make it easier for you to find new and unique tales to add to your repertoire, and in the process, we will learn more about our global neighbors. I encourage you to conduct further research on the specific region and/or culture behind the stories.

At the end of this blog post you will find the previous two countries I have researched and shared, India and Turkey. Who knows where my next stop will be?


Let’s begin with one of the stories told in Africa. 

How African Stories Were Born

The mouse goes everywhere into rich people's houses and into the poorest people's houses, too. In the old days, the mouse made stories from all that she saw. Stories were her children. Each story-child had its dress - white, blue, red, green, and black. The stories lived in her house and did everything for her.

One day a sheep ran against the door of the house where the mouse lived. The door was old, and it broke, and all the stories ran out. And now they run up and down over all the earth.


How Frog Went to Heaven A Tale of Angola – retold by Aaron Shepard

Virtual Chad
Five stories from the country of Chad along with additional information links on the culture, language, animals, and literature of the country.

Why Does Lion Roar? – Angola


The Ape, the Snake, and the Lion - Tanzania

Fadhila’s Secret - Kenya

The Hare and the Lion – Tanzania

The Hare and the Water – Tanzania

How the Monkeys Saved the Fish – Tanzania

Lion, Chameleon, and Chicken - Tanzania 

The Strange Creature – Zimbabwe 

Why Death is Like a Banana Tree – Madagascar


The Cruel Creditor and the Judge’s Wise Daughter - Morocco

The Story of Chicken and Elephant – Sudan


The Dance for Water or Rabbits Triumph 

The Ostrich-Egg Wife 

Why Does Lion Roar? – Angola

Why Mongoose Kills Snakes - Angola


The Brother and His Sisters

The Farmer’s Son Becomes a Hunter 

The Hippopotamus and the Tortoise – Nigeria

The King’s Drum – Nigeria

How Monkey Stole the Drum   

One Man and His Precious Cow - Nigeria

The Talking Goat – Liberia 

The Tortoise and the Magic Drum – Nigeria

The Tortoise and the Elephant - Nigeria

The Tortoise Captures the Elephant

The Tortoise, the Dog, and the Farmer - Nigeria

Why a Hawk Kills Chickens – Nigeria

Why the Cat Kills Rats - Nigeria 

Why the Sun and the Stars Receive Their Light from the Sun - Lagos


African Folk Tales - Forty-two short stories can be found here.

Conversations With Ghana – West Africa 
Five folktales from the country of Ghana. The site also offers some additional background information useful to teachers who may be exploring this culture with their students.

Congo Life and Folklore – Within this public domain book you will find thirty-three native stories as told “round the evening fires.”

Ethiopian FolktalesOver 300 folktales “…many of which had never before been written down or translated into English. You can also listen to many of the original recordings in the voices of the narrators…”

Felids and Friends
A non-profit organization based in Florida that offers information, articles, quotes and stories and folktales about our fine furry and feathered friends. The following two links will lead you to animal tales. African folktales and Native American legend

Folktales from Liberia - From the American Folklore Center 43 Liberian folktales, published in 1919.

Folk-tales of Angola – Fifty tales collected and edited by Heli Chatelain, 1894 with Ki-mbundu text, literal English translation introduction and notes: stories of antelope, wolf, turtle, leopard, monkey and much more.

Folk Stories From Southern Nigeria by Elphinstone Dayrell, 1910 – Forty folktales at your fingertips. 

Kaffir (Xhosa) Folk-Lore
by George McCall Theal, 1886 - From the South African Xhosa people, a scholarly collection of Xhosa tales; part of the cultural heritage of South Africa.

Kikuyu - Fables and Legends - Kenya - Twelve unique stories from the Kenyan culture and an interesting article on storytelling customs in Kenya.

The King of the Snakes and Other Folk-lore Stories from Uganda

South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey, M.D. 1910. “This is a collection of South African folklore collected during the 19th century. It includes many great animal tales with classic African wisdom.”

West African Folktales by W.H. Barker and Cecilia Sinclair – Children love animal and Anansi stories. This book will help add some new tales to your repertoire.


Exploring Africa

The Talking GoatLesson plan for the story found in the West Africa section above.  

Teaching African History and Cultures Across the Curriculum 

Teacher Vision - Activities for African folktales K-5.


Celebrating the Country of India

Celebrating the Country of Turkey


Please note, websites change at a rapid pace and weblinks may change or break without notice. I cannot be responsible for redirected or broken links.  At the time of this posting all links were in working order. Thank you for understanding.

Karen Chace 2021 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission, please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.