Transcript: Black History Storytelling | Mar 31, 1999

The opening slate pops up with a countdown timer from 9 seconds and the title “TVO’s Virtual Classroom. Get connected.”
The “V” in “Virtual” is a tick, the “A” in “classroom” is an at sign with an extended loop that turns into a power cord with a plug at the end, and the first “O” in “classroom” is a spinning globe.

A man in his thirties plays the drums in studio. He has a completed shaven head and a shadow of a beard. He wears jeans and a blue shirt.

An illustration appears on screen with the title “The official 1999 Black History Poster.” Black people of different genders and ages appear on the poster, along with several different flags.

Missus UJ sits in the studio. She is in her late forties, with mid-length wavy blond hair with feathered bangs. She wears a black blazer and a small animal print scarf.

Missus UJ says HI.
HI, I'M MISSUS UJ, AND WELCOME
TO THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM
THIS AFTERNOON.
WE HAVE A REALLY SPECIAL
PROGRAM ORGANIZED FOR YOU.
AND THE WHOLE PROGRAM
IS IN CELEBRATION OF
BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
NOW, YOU'VE JUST MET A LITTLE
SNEAK PREVIEW OF KWABENA YAFEU,
AND I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE
YOU ALSO TO A FRIEND OF MINE,
JUDITH MACDONELL,
WHO IS A DRAMA CONSULTANT IN
NORTH YORK, AND WHO ALSO IS A
WONDERFUL STORY TELLER.

Judith sits next to Missus UJ. She is in her late forties, with chin-length straight blond hair with bangs. She wears a black blouse, a black blazer and a couple of chain necklaces.

Missus UJ says AND I KNOW BECAUSE SHE'S
BEEN TO MY CLASSROOM BEFORE
TELLING STORIES.
SO RIGHT NOW WE ARE GOING TO
TURN IT BACK OVER TO KWABENA,
AND HE'S GOING TO DO A LITTLE
STORY FROM WEST AFRICA.
SO KWEBENA...

A map of Africa appears on screen as Kwabena plays the drums.

Kwabena says GOOD DAY, EVERYONE.
WELL, THIS IS AN AFRICAN DRUM.
AND THIS PARTICULAR DRUM
IS CALLED THE DJEMBE.

Kwabena shows a skin-covered globet drum in a strap.

He says NOW, AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, DRUMS
ARE AN INTRINSIC -- IT'S A PART
OF AFRICAN HISTORY, IT'S A PART
OF AFRICAN CULTURE FROM LONG,
LONG, LONG TIME AGO.
AND WHEREVER YOU GO IN AFRICA,
THERE ARE PEOPLE PLAYING DRUMS.
DRUMS ARE PART OF THEIR
CELEBRATION, PART OF ALL
THEIR CEREMONIES.
DRUMS WERE USED IN THE OLDEN
DAYS TO SEND MESSAGES.
SO BASICALLY, DRUMS ARE PART
OF THE CULTURE AS MUCH AS THE
PEOPLE ARE.
NOW, ANOTHER THING THAT IS A
PART OF AFRICAN CULTURE IS
THEIR STORIES.
NOW, STORIES HAVE BEEN TOLD
THROUGH THE CENTURIES AS A WAY
OF PASSING DOWN THE HISTORY
FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER.
AND STORY TELLING
IS REALLY AN ART.
IT'S USUALLY TOLD BY THE
HISTORIAN, THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
GREAT KNOWLEDGE OF THE
CULTURE, OF THE CIVILIZATION.
AND TODAY, TODAY, I HAVE A
WONDERFUL STORY FOR YOU.
NOW, WHEN I PUT ON MY STORY
SHAWL, THIS COLOURFUL PIECE OF
FABRIC, WHICH CLEARLY IS
AFRICAN, WHEN I PUT THIS ON,
IT MEANS THAT GREAT MISTER YAFEU
IS COMING WITH A WONDERFUL
STORY FOR HIS CLASS.
AND TODAY, YOU ARE
GOING TO GET A TREAT.

He grabs a piece of purple and orange African patterned fabric and hangs it over one shoulder.

He says THE STORY THAT I'M GOING TO
TELL YOU TODAY IS A STORY THAT
WAS WRITTEN BY AN AFRICAN
AMERICAN GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME
OF WALTER DEAN MYERS.
WALTER DEAN MYERS WROTE
THE STORY, AND THIS STORY
HAS WON MANY AWARDS.
AND TODAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE
OF TELLING YOU THE STORY.
LONG, LONG, LONG AGO, WHEN THE
EARTH WAS STILL UNSETTLED IN
ITS TURNING, AND THE STARS
DID NOT FIND THEIR SPOTS
IN THE SKIES, THERE
WERE THREE KINGDOMS.
AND THESE THREE KINGDOMS
REMAIN ON EARTH FOR A LONG TIME.
OKAY.
THESE THREE KINGDOMS REMAIN
ON EARTH FOR A LONG TIME WITH
THREE RULERS.
EACH OF THESE RULERS THINKING
THEY WERE THE GREATEST.
THE FIRST KINGDOM WAS THE
KINGDOM OF THE FOREST.
AND IN THE FOREST RULED
ELEPHANT, THE GREAT
GIANT ELEPHANT.
AND ELEPHANT WAS BIG,
AND HE WAS STRONG.
AND WHEN ELEPHANT WALKED
THROUGH THE FOREST, ALL
CREATURES GREAT AND
SMALL WILL TREMBLE.
AND WHEN HE SPEAKS
THE LEAVES WILL SHAKE.
AND WHEN HE WALK, THE
GROUND WILL SHAKE.
FOR HE WAS ELEPHANT, THE
GREATEST RULER OF ALL.
AND THAT'S WHAT HE WAS FOUND
SAYING ON TOP OF THE HILL.
HE GOES, I AM ELEPHANT.
THE GREATEST RULER
OF THE FOREST.
AND THIS KINGDOM, MINE ONLY,
THIS KINGDOM IS THE GREATEST
KINGDOM OF ALL ON EARTH.
AND SO THE PEOPLE BELIEVED
BECAUSE ELEPHANT WAS POWERFUL.
BUT THERE WAS A
SECOND KINGDOM.
THAT WAS THE
KINGDOM OF THE SEA.
AND SHARK RULED THE
KINGDOM OF THE SEA.
SHARK HAD ROWS OF SHARP,
SHINY TEETH, AND HE LOOKED AT
PEOPLE, HE LOOKED AT ALL THE
SEA CREATURES WITH A VICIOUS
GLARE, AH, I AM SHARK,
RULER OF THE SEA.
AND LOBSTER WOULD COVER THEIR
FACES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT
WANT TO OFFEND SHARK.

He covers his face with the fabric.

He continues AND ALL THE FISH WOULD SWIM
AWAY AS SHARK APPROACHES
BECAUSE SHARK IS GREAT,
AND HE WAS VICIOUS.
AND SO IT WENT ON.
SHARK PROCLAIMED THE SEA.
THE SEA IS MINE, AND MINE.
THE SEA IS THE GREATEST
KINGDOM OF ALL.
AND BECAUSE THE SEA COVERED
MOST OF THE EARTH, PEOPLE
BELIEVED THIS WAS INDEED
THE GREATEST KINGDOM.
BUT THERE WAS A THIRD KINGDOM.
AND THIS IS THE
KINGDOM OF THE AIR.
AND THAT IS THE SPACE BETWEEN
THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH.
AND IN THIS
KINGDOM RULED HAWK.
HAWK WOULD FLY ACROSS
THE SKY GOING, CAW, CAW!
AND HAWK WOULD SAY, MY KINGDOM
IS THE GREATEST KINGDOM OF ALL.
AND I'M TELLING YOU, HAWK
HAS THIS HOOKED BIG BEAK
AND CLAWS THAT WERE VICIOUS.
AND PEOPLE BELIEVE
FOR HE WAS VICIOUS.
HE WAS NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH.
AND SO HAWK WOULD GO ACROSS
THE SKY, AND PEOPLE WOULD
HIDE AWAY, SWALLOW, HIDE,
WHEN HAWK APPROACHES.
AND PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT TO BE
THE GREATEST KINGDOM BECAUSE,
EVEN THOUGH THE SEA COVERED
MOST OF THE EARTH, EVERYONE
HAD TO AGREE, THAT THE SPACE
BETWEEN THE HEAVENS AND THE
EARTH WAS THE GREATEST.
AND SO THEY BELIEVED THAT THE
SKIES, OR THE AIR WAS THE
GREATEST KINGDOM OF ALL.
SO THIS WENT ON.
AND ALL THREE LEADERS WOULD
ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER.
ELEPHANT WOULD SAY, COME INTO
THE FOREST IF YOU THINK YOUR
KINGDOM IS SO GREAT.
COME INTO THE FOREST
AND I WILL TEST YOU.
AND NO ONE WOULD ENTER.
NO ONE WOULD DARE TO
GO INTO THE UNKNOWN.
SHARK WOULD SAY, YOU ENTER THE
SEA, AND I WILL TEACH YOU TO
OBEY ME, SHARK, THE
GREATEST LEADER OF ALL.
NO ONE DARED ENTER THE WATERS.
AND HAWK WOULD SOAR IN THE SKY
AND HE WOULD LAUGH AND SAY,
HA HA, YOU COME INTO
THE AIR IF YOU DARE.
FOR I AM HAWK, THE
GREATEST LEADER.
NO ONE WOULD EVEN TRY, FOR
ELEPHANT COULD NOT LIFT
HIMSELF OFF THE GROUND,
NEITHER COULD SHARK.
AND SO THIS WENT ON.
AND THEY CONSTANTLY ARGUED
BACK AND FORTH TO EACH OTHER.
BUT IT CAME TO PASS, THAT A
NEW CREATURE CAME TO EARTH.
AND THESE CREATURE
WERE CALLED PEOPLE.
PEOPLE ENTERED THE EARTH.
AND EVERYONE LAUGHED AT THEM.
HA HA HA!
YOU'RE NOT THE HAWK.
YOU'RE NOT SHARK.
YOU'RE NOT ELEPHANT.
WHO ARE YOU?
YOU'RE HERE TO
DO OUR BIDDINGS.
YOU HAVE NOWHERE, YOU HAVE NO
KINGDOM, YOU RULE NOWHERE.
AND SO IT WAS PEOPLE WALK WITH
THEIR CHINS ON THEIR CHEST,
AND THEIR EYES CAST ON THE
GROUND BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID.
AND THEY STAYED IN THE
HILLS FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
THEN, ONE DAY, ONE DAY,
ELEPHANT TAKING A STROLL
THROUGH HIS LUSH FOREST
FELL INTO A DEEP PIT.
HE WENT RIGHT TO THE
BOTTOM OF THIS PIT.
AND AS POWERFUL AS ELEPHANT
WAS, HE COULD NOT ESCAPE.
HE TRIED, HE KICKED, HE
ROARED, HE MADE GREAT NOISE
ACROSS THE LAND.
PEOPLE COULD HEAR
HIM FOR MILES.
NO ONE CAME TO HELP ME.
HE COULD NOT MOVE.
AND SO THE PEOPLE GATHERED AT
NIGHT BY THE GREAT FIRE TO
LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES.
AND THEY TELL MANY STORIES.
THEY TOLD MANY STORIES,
ONE AFTER THE OTHER.
BUT THERE WAS ONE STORY THAT
CAUGHT THEIR ATTENTION.
IT WAS THE STORY TOLD BY A
YOUNG MAN WHO TALKED ABOUT A
TIME WHEN PEOPLE WANTED TO
MAKE A VILLAGE RIGHT AT THE
SPOT WHERE A GREAT ROCK
WAS, BUT THEY COULD NOT
MOVE THIS ROCK.
THE ROCK WAS TOO BIG FOR
ANY ONE PERSON TO MOVE.
THEN THEY SAW SOME VINES
ON THE BACK OF THIS ROCK.
AND AN IDEA CAME.
AN SO THEY ALL CAME TOGETHER,
HOLD THESE VINES, AND PULL
THIS ROCK AWAY, AND THEY WERE
ABLE TO BUILD THEIR VILLAGE.
NOW, THIS STORY WARMED THEIR
HEARTS, AND THEY TELL IT OVER
AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
AND SO THE NEXT DAY, THEY
KNEW THEY HAD AN IDEA.
THEY WENT TO THE PIT
WHERE ELEPHANT WAS.
AND IN THEIR HANDS, THEY
CARRIED VINES, STRONG ONES.
THEY WENT AND THEY CAST
IT AROUND ELEPHANT.
AND ALL OF THEM, TOGETHER,
THEY PULLED, THEY PULLED, AND
THEY PULLED ELEPHANT
FROM THE PIT.
ELEPHANT WAS SO GRATEFUL.
OH, THANK YOU.
FROM NOW ON, YOU WILL
SHARE THE FOREST WITH ME.
AND THE PEOPLE WERE HAPPY.
THEY WERE NOW SHARING THE
FOREST WITH ELEPHANT.
SO LIFE WENT ON.
BUT THE PEOPLE STILL COULD
NOT TAKE FISH FROM THE SEA,
NOR COULD THEY BATHE.
AND THEY DID NOT LIKE THIS.
AND EVEN THOUGH LIFE WAS GOOD
WITH ELEPHANT, THEY HAD A BAD
RELATIONSHIP WITH SHARK.
BUT THEY CONTINUED TO TELL
THEIR STORIES AT NIGHT
BY THE GREAT FIRE.
AND SO THEY WOULD TELL
THEIR STORIES EVERY NIGHT,
AND THESE STORIES WOULD
WARM THEIR HEART.
BUT ONE NIGHT, A PARTICULAR
STORY WAS TOLD BY A YOUNG GIRL.
SHE TALKED ABOUT HER
GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS A WEAVER.
AND SHE WOVE BASKETS.
AND ONE DAY, ONE OF HER
BASKETS FELL INTO THE STREAM,
AND LIZARD, WHO WAS HAVING
HIS MORNING SWIM, HAVING A
WONDERFUL TIME IN THE STREAM,
GOT CAUGHT IN THIS BASKET,
AND HE COULD NOT ESCAPE.
AND THIS STORY REALLY
WARMED THEIR HEART.
AND THEY TOLD HER TO TELL
THIS STORY MANY TIMES,
MANY TIMES AGAIN.
AND SO THE NEXT DAY, THEY
GATHERED ALL THE MATERIAL THAT
THEY COULD FIND, AND THEY WOVE
THE BIGGEST BASKET THEY COULD
EVER WEAVE.
AND THEY CAST IT
INTO THE WATER.
SHARK CAME SWIMMING IN HIS
KINGDOM, KNOWING HE IS THE
GREATEST LEADER.
HE DID NOT CARE, HE DID
NOT FARE, HE WAS SWIMMING,
SWIMMING, AND UP,
INTO THE BASKET.
WHAT IS THIS, WHO DARE TO
PUT SOMETHING AROUND ME?
I AM SHARK, THE GREATEST
LEADER OF THE SEA.
LET ME GO AT ONCE.
BUT THE PEOPLE HELD HIM.
THEY WOULD NOT LET HIM GO.
THEY SAY, YOU SHARE THE SEA
WITH US, AND WE WILL LET YOU GO.
SHARK SAID NO, I AM THE
GREATEST LEADER OF ALL.
YOU CAN'T ASK ME
TO SHARE WITH YOU.
AND THEY SAID, SHARE THE SEA
OR ELSE WE WON'T LET YOU GO.
SO SHARK QUICKLY SHARED
THE SEA WITH THEM.
BUT THEY WERE STILL NOT HAPPY.
BUT BY NOW, THEY
KNOW WHAT TO DO.
THEY START TO UNDERSTAND HOW
POWERFUL THEIR STORIES ARE.
SO THEY GATHERED ONCE MORE.
AND ONE YOUNG MAN TOLD A STORY
OF A LITTLE LAD WHO TRIED TO
CATCH A BUTTERFLY
THAT'S ALWAYS FLYING.
IT'S HARD TO GET THIS
BUTTERFLY UNTIL IT CAME TO
REST, AND THEN HE
GOT THE BUTTERFLY.
AND THAT ONE WARMED THE
HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE.
AND SO THEY WENT ON TO GATHER
VINES AND MAKE A BIG HOOP.
AND THEY WENT THE
NEXT DAY TO THE BAOBAB
TREE BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT'S
THE TREE HAWK OFTEN COME TO
REST TO HAVE HIS MIDDAY NAP.
AND AS SOON AS HAWK LANDED
ON THIS TREE, THEY CAST THE
VINE, AND I WENT AROUND HE
HAS NECK, AND THEY GOT HIM.
LET ME GO, I'M
HAWK, RULER OF SKY.
WHO DARE TO PUT
A VINE AROUND ME?
BUT THEY HELD HIM.
THEY SAID, SHARE THE SKY WITH
US, AND WE WILL LET YOU GO.
HAWK RESISTED.
EVENTUALLY, HAD TO GIVE UP.
HE GAVE UP.
HE SAID, OKAY, I WILL
SHARE THE SKY WITH YOU.
JUST LET ME GO.
AND FROM THAT DAY ON, THEY
DIDN'T HEAR HAWK AGAIN.
BUT THEN A YOUNG MAN AMONG
THE CROWD SAID, WE ARE THE
MASTERS OF THE EARTH.
WE HAVE CONQUERED ALL.
WE HAVE CONQUERED
ALL THREE KINGDOMS.
THE PEOPLE LOOKED AT HIM.
AND THEY LOOKED AT HIM AS
IF SOMETHING WAS WRONG.
AND THEY KNEW WHAT
THEY HAD TO DO.
THEY WENT AGAIN TO THE GREAT
FIRES TO TELL THE STORY.
BUT THIS TIME, WHEN THEY TELL
THE STORY, IT WAS A STORY
OF COMPASSION.
THEY SAY, WE ARE PEOPLE,
WE HAVE THE GIFT OF STORY.
AND IN THESE STORY
LIES OUR HISTORY.
WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE
MASTERS OF THE EARTH.
WE CAN SHARE THE EARTH.
WE CAN SHARE THIS GREAT
LAND, THIS LUSH FOREST,
THIS BEAUTIFUL SEA
WITH ALL THAT WE NEED.
THE SKY, FRESH AIR.
AND SO IT WAS.
AND FROM THEN ON, PEOPLE
STILL GATHERED BY THE FIRE TO
GATHER THEIR HISTORY, TO SEEK
WISDOM BECAUSE THEY KNOW IN
THAT WISDOM THEY WILL
ALWAYS FIND STRENGTH.
THANK YOU.

Missus UJ says WOW, WOW, THAT WAS
A WONDERFUL STORY.
PLEASE COME AND
JOIN US, KWABENA.

Kwabena sits next to Missus UJ.

Missus UJ says IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
YOU'D LIKE TO CALL IN AND
COMMENT AND THANK KWABENA
FOR THAT WONDERFUL STORY.
KWABENA IS ACTUALLY A GRADE
THREE TEACHER FOR THE TORONTO
DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD.
AND THOSE LUCKY CHILDREN, WHEN
HE PULLS OUT THAT BEAUTIFUL,
COLOURFUL SCARF, HOW LUCKY
THEY ARE TO HAVE A WONDERFUL
STORY TELLER AS THEIR
OWN GRADE THREE TEACHER.
NOW, IF YOU HAVE ANY
QUESTIONS, WE'LL CERTAINLY TRY
TO GET AS MANY OF
THEM IN AS WE CAN.
AND THEN WE ARE GOING TO TURN
IT OVER TO JUDITH MACDONELL,
WHO IS ALSO GOING TO SHARE A
WONDERFUL STORY AND DO SOME
STORY TELLING WITH US, TOO.
SO JUDITH, MAYBE I'LL LET YOU
JUST INTRODUCE WHERE YOUR
STORY IS COMING FROM.
I MAY HAVE TO INTERRUPT YOU
BECAUSE I'M SURE WE DO HAVE
SOME CHILDREN THAT WILL
WANT TO TALK TO KWABENA.
AND I'M SORRY IF WE
HAVE TO INTERRUPT YOU.

Judith says I DON'T MIND AT ALL.
I JUST THOUGHT THAT
WAS A WONDERFUL STORY.

Missus UJ says OKAY.
WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
HI, YOUR NAME?

The caller says BROGAN.

Missus UJ says HI.
AND DO YOU HAVE A
QUESTION FOR KWABENA?

Brogan says YES.
WERE YOU ACTUALLY
BORN IN AFRICA?

Kwabena says YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT'S A
VERY INTERESTING QUESTION.
THAT IS A WELL ASKED QUESTION.
MANY PEOPLE ASK
ME THIS QUESTION.
I WAS ACTUALLY
BORN IN JAMAICA.
BUT YOU SEE, AS AN AFRICAN
PERSON, I CALL MYSELF, NOT
JAMAICA, AS A BLACK PERSON,
YOU CALL YOURSELF AN
AFRICAN JAMAICAN.
SO I STILL MAINTAIN
MY AFRICAN IDENTITY.
SO I STILL CONSIDER MYSELF
AFRICAN, EVEN THOUGH, YES,
I WAS NOT BORN IN AFRICA.

Missus UJ says GREAT, OKAY.
THANKS VERY MUCH
FOR CALLING IN.
THAT WAS A VERY GOOD QUESTION.
OKAY, I'M GOING TO TURN
IT OVER TO YOU, JUDITH.
AND WE'LL RECEIVE SOME
CALLS IN JUST A MINUTE.

Judith says YES.
CAN WE JUST SHOW THIS A LITTLE
BIT BECAUSE WHAT KWABENA DID
IS HE TOLD A STORY FROM THIS
PART OF AFRICA, THE WEST PART
OF AFRICA.

She points at Kenya and Tanzania on the map of Africa.

She continues AND WE'RE NOW GOING TO FOCUS
ON THE EAST PART OF AFRICA,
IN THIS AREA CALLED
KENYA AND TANZANIA.
IN THAT AREA, THERE IS A
NATION OF PEOPLE THAT ARE
VERY, VERY, SPECIAL.
AND THEY ARE CALLED MASAI.
THEY'RE CALLED THE MASAI.

She shows a children’s book called “Masai and I,” by Virginia Kroll. An illustration of two black kids running in a playful way illustrates the cover.

Judith says I WONDERED IF ANY OF YOU OUT
THERE HAVE HEARD OF THE MASAI.
THEY ARE A TALL, NOBLE
PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN OFTEN
ASSOCIATED WITH VERY MYSTICAL,
AND VERY INTRIGUING FOR
ANYONE THAT GOES TO THE
EASTERN PART OF AFRICA.
HAS ANYONE EVER
HEARD OF MASAI?
IF YOU HAVE, PLEASE CALL IN
BECAUSE I'D LIKE TO HEAR
WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY
ABOUT THESE PEOPLE.
NOW, JUST TO HELP YOU THINK
ABOUT THE MASAI, LET ME JUST
SHOW YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT --
THAT GREAT STORY KWABENA JUST
TOLD US HAD TO DO WITH THE
ELEPHANT, AND YOU'LL SEE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LAND OF
ELEPHANTS IN KENYA, AND WHERE
WE LIVE, WHICH IS ALL MADE
UP OF CARS AND TRUCKS.
SOMETHING MUCH MORE APPEALING
ABOUT VISITING WHERE
ELEPHANTS ARE.

Illustrations inside the book show cars and elephants, a black girl in a mixed race classroom.

Judith says AND THIS YOUNG GIRL, LIKE MANY
OF OUR SCHOOLS IN TORONTO AND
LIKE YOUR SCHOOL, SHE IS
STUDYING, LIKE THE REST OF THE
CLASS, ABOUT EAST AFRICA.
AND IN HER STUDIES, HER
TEACHER IS INTRODUCING HER
TO THE MASAI NATION.
SO SHE IMAGINES WHAT IT WOULD
BE LIKE A DAY IN THE LIFE
OF THE MASAI.

As she browses the book, the illustrations on the left depict the girl’s real life and the ones on the right, the life she imagines.

Judith says WAKING UP AND LIVING IN HUTS,
AND SHARING THE COMMUNITY
SPIRIT, UNLIKE WHAT SHE LIVES
IN, WHICH IS AN APARTMENT,
WHICH IS FINE.
SHE KNOWS THE NEIGHBOUR DOWN
THE HALL, BUT IN THE MASAI
NATION, YOU KNOW EVERYONE.
IT'S VERY COMMUNAL.
AND SHE TALKS ABOUT HOW THEY
WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL GREAT
DISTANCES TO GET WATER.
WATER IS NOT AS EASY AS WHAT
WE DO IS WE JUST GO TO THE
TAP, AS SHE DOES IN HER HOME,
HER BROTHER GOES AND FILLS
THE JUG OF WATER.
BUT IN THE MASAI NATION, THEY
HAVE TO WALK WITH THEIR GOURD
AND FILL THE WATER AND TRAVEL
BACK HOME TO SHARE IT.
AND ALSO, IF SHE WANTS
SOMETHING SWEET, NOT LIKE WHAT
WE DO, WE EITHER GO TO THE
CUPBOARDS OR GO TO THE CANDY
STORE, SHE HAS TO FOLLOW THE
BIRD WHICH GIVES HER THE CLUE
OF WHERE THE HONEY IS.
AND THIS IS TODAY.
THIS IS WHAT THEY DO.
AND THEY SET SOME STICKS
TOGETHER, AND SET UP A SMOKE
SCREEN THAT DRAWS OUT THE
BEES AWAY FROM THE HONEY,
AND THEY GET THE HONEY SO
THEY HAVE SOMETHING SWEET.
AND AT NIGHT, WHAT HAPPENS IN
MANY OF OUR COMMUNITIES, SOON
AS THE STREET LIGHTS COME ON,
WE HAVE TO COME HOME, BUT IN
A MASAI NATION, CHILDREN STAY
OUT UNTIL THE FIRE FLIES
COME, WHICH NO ONE REALLY
KNOWS WHAT TIME THAT IS.
AND THEN THEY COME HOME.
AND THEY DON'T HAVE TO RUSTLE
UP INTO BED AND LOOK OUTSIDE,
BUT RATHER, THEY JUST LIFT
UP THE FLAP FROM THE HUT.
AND THEY SIT BY THE FIRE.
AND THEY ONLY HAVE ONE
OR TWO OR THREE STOOLS,
THEY DON'T HAVE A BED.
IN THE MORNING, THEY JUST ROLL
UP A WONDERFUL COW HIDE, AND
THAT'S WHAT THEY SLEEP ON.
SO THEIR LIFE -- I HAVE TO
SHOW YOU THIS ONE LITTLE
PICTURE, IT'S SO WONDERFUL.
THE YOUNG GIRL THAT'S TELLING
US THE STORY, HER NAME IS LINDA.
AND SHE HAS, FOR
A PET, A HAMSTER.
AND SHE IMAGINES WHAT IT WOULD
BE LIKE IN AFRICA BECAUSE SHE
WOULD HAVE GIRAFFES TO VISIT,
AND CATTLE, AND SHE WOULD
RUN FREE.
NOT HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT RUNNING SHOES.
SHE'D HAVE HER BARE FEET.
AND ONCE IN A WHILE SHE COULD
WEAR WHAT'S CALLED BUFFALO
SKIN SANDALS.
AND TO GET READY FOR A GREAT
FESTIVAL, IN A MASAI NATION,
WHAT THEY WOULD DO IS THEY
WOULD USE WHAT'S CALLED A
MIXTURE OF RED CLAY.
AND THEY'D MAKE THEIR FACE
NICE AND SHINY, AND THEY'D GET
READY FOR A GREAT FESTIVAL.
INSTEAD OF RUNNING OFF INTO
A CAR, THEY COULD TRAVEL AND
WALK MILES, SOMETIMES THREE OR
FOUR MILES TO WHERE THE GREAT
FEAST IS TO HAPPEN.
HERE'S A MASAI NATION GETTING
READY FOR A GREAT FESTIVAL.
AND YOU CAN SEE THE COLOUR RED
BECOMES VERY IMPORTANT FOR
THAT NATION.

Members of a tribe carry red flags tied around their necks.

Judith says AND THE ONE THING IN HER
IMAGINING, SHE'S IMAGINING
HERSELF CELEBRATING HER
GRANDMOTHER'S 75th BIRTHDAY,
AND SHE SAID THE ONE THING
THEY DO HAVE IN COMMON IS THE
FACT THEY BOTH LOVE AND
RESPECT THEIR GRANDMOTHER,
NO MATTER WHAT
NATION THEY ARE IN.
SO THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK,
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT WANT
TO READ ABOUT THE NATION,
CALLED
MASAI AND I.

Missus UJ says THAT'S A WONDERFUL STORY.
AND I THINK WE ARE GOING TO
TAKE SOME CALLS NOW, JUDITH,
BECAUSE I'M SURE THE CHILDREN
ARE JUST ANXIOUS TO TALK TO
BOTH OF YOU.
AND I THINK WHILE WE'RE
CONNECTING WITH OUR FIRST
CALLER, ISN'T IT NICE, WE'VE
SEEN TWO DIFFERENT METHODS OF
STORY TELLING.
ONE, JUDITH USING A BOOK
AND USING THE PICTURES TO
STORY TELL, AND KWABENA DOING
IT FROM HIS HEART, WHICH WAS
ALSO A FABULOUS WAY.
OKAY, WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
HI, WHO IS THIS?
HELLO?
WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN?
PICK UP YOUR PHONE.
PICK UP YOUR PHONE.
I THINK WE MAY
HAVE LOST HER.
OKAY, JUST WHILE WE'RE WAITING
FOR THE NEXT CALLER, JUDITH,
MAYBE YOU COULD TALK A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT YOUR TITLE, BUT I
MAY HAVE TO INTERRUPT YOU
BECAUSE I'M SURE -- SORRY,
I HAVE ONE FROM FLAMBOROUGH.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says GRAHAM.

Missus UJ says HI, GRAHAM.
DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR JUDITH OR KWABENA?

Graham says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY, GREAT.

Kwabena says HI, GRAHAM.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Graham says GOOD.
WAS THE STORY REALLY TRUE?

Kwabena says AS I STARTED AT THE BEGINNING
OF MY STORY, THAT ONE WAS
WRITTEN BY WALTER DEAN MYERS,
WHO IS A VERY GOOD STORY
WRITER, AND STORY TELLER.
BUT, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THOSE
STORIES ARE AROUND THE WORLD,
ABOUT THE BEGINNING
OF TIME AND SO ON.
SO YOU MAY EVEN SEE SIMILAR
STORIES TO THAT IN OTHER BOOKS.

Graham says THANK YOU.

Missus UJ says OKAY, THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
WE'LL TAKE ANOTHER CALL.
AND JUST WHILE WE'RE WAITING
FOR THAT TO CONNECT, JUDITH,
ARE YOU GOING TO
CONTINUE WITH THIS ONE?

Judith says NO.
I'D LIKE TO THEN MOVE INTO
ANOTHER MASAI LEGEND,
WHICH IS CALLED
THE ORPHAN BOY.

Judith shows another book called “The orphan boy” by Tololwa M. Mollel, with the picture of a black boy on the cover.

Judith says AND THIS AUTHOR, TOLOHWA
MOLLEL, HE ACTUALLY IS A
MASAI, AND HE'S WRITING
ABOUT HIS OWN LIFE.
THE ILLUSTRATOR, NAMED PAUL
MORIN, HE ACTUALLY SPENT A LOT
OF TIME IN KENYA.
AND I JUST WANT TO SHOW
THIS ONE PICTURE HERE.

A picture of a Masai elder covered in a red blanket appears.

Judith says AND HERE IS A MASAI ELDER.
AND AS KWABENA SHARED, THE
ELDERS CARRIED THE STORIES
IN THE ORAL TRADITION.
IN THIS PARTICULAR PICTURE
THOUGH, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE,
THIS GENTLEMAN, HE
LIVES ALL ALONE.
HE IS LOOKING OUT INTO THE
NIGHT SKY, AND LOOKING AT ALL
THE STARS, AND IN LOOKING OUT,
HE IS FEELING NOT SO LONELY
BY LOOKING AT THE STARS, BUT
HE LIVES ALONE AND OUTSIDE
THE COMMUNITY.
WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK
TO THAT IN A MOMENT.

Missus UJ says OKAY, THANKS, JUDITH.
WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM TRILLIUM.

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says HI.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says RYAN.

Missus UJ says HI, RYAN.
DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION?

Ryan says YES.

Missus UJ says GREAT.
AND WHO IS YOUR QUESTION TO?
TO KWABENA?

Ryan says ABOUT THE STORY.

Missus UJ says ABOUT THE STORY, YES.

Ryan says WHY DO THE MASAI LIVE SO
FAR AWAY FROM THE WATER?

Judith says WHY DO THEY LIVE SO
FAR AWAY FROM THE WATER?
WELL, THAT'S A
VERY GOOD QUESTION.
LET ME JUST SHOW YOU ON
THE MAP AGAIN, IF I MAY.
THEY LIVE RIGHT IN HERE.
THERE'S A LOT OF WATER, BUT
YOU CAN SEE THERE ARE SOME
RIVERS THAT ONE THROUGH HERE.
AND THERE IS A RESERVE RIGHT
IN THIS AREA HERE, IN AFRICA,
WHERE IF YOU WENT ON A SAFARI
IN KENYA, YOU WOULD FIND
THERE ARE RIVERS.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AFRICA, AS
A LOT OF AREAS WHERE IT IS
REALLY, REALLY HOT,
THERE ARE DROUGHTS.
SO THEY RUN OUT
OF WATER SOMETIME.
THEY ARE CLOSE TO WATER, JUST
SOMETIMES THERE ARE DROUGHTS.
DOES THAT HELP?

Ryan says YEAH.

Judith says THANK YOU.

Missus UJ says GREAT.
THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
WE HAVE ANOTHER
CALLER ON READY.
CAN WE JUST TAKE ONE
MORE QUESTION, JUDITH,
BEFORE YOU GO ON?
GREAT.
WHILE WE'RE CONNECTING.
GREAT.
OKAY, WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
OKAY, LET'S JUST TAKE
A LITTLE BIT MORE.

Judith says ELGIN IS HAVING A HARD TIME.

Missus UJ says YEAH.
OH, THERE IT IS.
WHO'S THIS?
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
ELGIN AVENUE,
PICK UP THE PHONE.

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says HI.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
HELLO?

The caller says OH, HI.

Missus UJ says HI.
WHAT IS YOUR QUESTION?

The caller says THE OTHER PERSON WANTS IT.

Missus UJ says OH, OKAY.
YOUR PARTNER WANTS
TO ASK THE QUESTION?
GREAT.
WHAT IS YOUR QUESTION?

Another caller says HI.

Missus UJ says HI.

The caller says I HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA.

Missus UJ says GREAT.

The caller says WHERE DID HE HEAR
OF THIS STORY?

Kwabena says OH, WHERE DID I
GET THIS STORY FROM?
ACTUALLY, THE FIRST TIME I SAW
THE STORY WAS -- THE FIRST
TIME I HEARD ABOUT THE
STORY WAS TOLD TO ME.
THEN I READ THE
STORY IN A BOOK.
IT'S A BOOK WRITTEN
BY WALTER DEAN MYERS.
IT'S A WONDERFUL BOOK.
IT'S CALLED
THE STORY
OF THE THREE KINGDOMS.
IF YOU EVER GET THE CHANCE, IF
YOUR PARENTS COULD GET THIS
BOOK FOR YOU.
I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHICH
BOOKSTORE IT'S AT,
BUT IT IS A WONDERFUL BOOK.
AND IT HAS GREAT
ILLUSTRATIONS.

Missus UJ says GREAT, THANKS
FOR CALLING IN.
WE CAN TAKE ANOTHER CALL
WHILE WE ARE WAITING.
IT'S INTERESTING HOW SOME OF
THE BEST STORIES ARE THE ONES
THAT HAVE BEEN
TOLD AND PASSED ON.

Judith says YES, FROM GENERATION
TO GENERATION.

Missus UJ says YEAH, IT'S JUST GREAT.
WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says CATHY.

Missus UJ says HI, CATHY.
DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA OR JUDITH?

Cathy says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY, GREAT.

Kwabena says HELLO.

Cathy says HAVE YOU TOLD
ANY OTHER STORIES?

Kwabena says YES, FROM TIME TO TIME, I
WILL TELL STORIES TO MY CLASS.
I WILL EITHER READ STORIES
AS JUDITH SORT OF DID TODAY,
OR I WILL TELL THEM
IN THE ORAL WAY.
I REALLY ENJOY DOING
IT IN THE ORAL WAY.
WHICH MEANS I DON'T REALLY
NECESSARILY USE A BOOK, BUT I
LIKE TO TELL IT BECAUSE, YOU
KNOW, I LIKE TO FLAIR MY HANDS
OUT LIKE THIS, AND I LIKE TO
GET RIGHT INTO THE STORY.
I THINK IT'S MORE FUN.
NOT ONLY THAT, IN THE ANCIENT
TIMES, THAT'S HOW THEY
USUALLY TELL THE STORIES.
AND I LIKE DOING IT THAT WAY.

Missus UJ says THAT'S GREAT.
THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
THAT WAS A VERY GOOD QUESTION.
BECAUSE ALL THE CHILDREN ARE
TRYING TO LEARN STORY TELLING.
IT'S CERTAINLY ONE OF OUR
OF EXPECTATIONS, ISN'T IT?

Judith says YES, IT IS.

Missus UJ says SO IT'S SO NICE TO WATCH
SOMEONE THAT'S FLAILING THEIR
ARMS AND SO INTO THEIR STORY.
JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE WHEN
YOU'RE STORY TELLING IN YOUR
CLASSROOM THAT THE KIDS
ARE PRETTY FAR AWAY.
OKAY, WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM FLAMBOROUGH.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says JOEL.

Missus UJ says HI, JOEL.
AND YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA OR JUDITH?

Joel says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY.

Kwabena waves his hand.

Joel says WHAT IF THE ANIMALS TRICKED
THEM AND CAUGHT THEM OFF GUARD?

Missus UJ says WHERE DID THEY,
OR HOW DID THEY?

Joel says IF THEY DID.

Missus UJ says OH, IF.

Kwabena says TRICKED WHO?
THE PEOPLE?

Joel says YES.

Kwabena says IT WOULD BE A DIFFERENT
STORY, I GUESS.
[laughing]
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE
PEOPLE WERE VERY WISE.
AND THE THING ABOUT PEOPLE
IS THAT THEY HAD THE GIFT
OF STORY.
SO WHATEVER PROBLEM THAT
WOULD COME TO THEM, I'M SURE
THEY WOULD FIND A WAY
TO DEAL WITH IT.
THEY WOULD FIND A
SOLUTION IN THEIR STORY.
AND I DON'T KNOW WHEN YOUR
TEACHER IS TEACHING YOU A
STORY WRITING OR UNDERSTANDING
THE ELEMENTS OF A STORY, YOU
KNOW THERE IS A SOLUTION
AND A PROBLEM SECTION.
JUST LIKE THEY HAVE THE
CHARACTERS AND THE SETTING
AND SO ON.
SO WHATEVER PROBLEM WOULD
ARISE, THERE WOULD BE
A SOLUTION.
AND THEY WILL FIND THAT
THROUGH THE STORIES.

Joel says OKAY.

Missus UJ says GREAT, THANK YOU.
WE'LL TAKE ONE MORE CALL, THEN
WE'RE GOING TO MOVE BACK TO
JUDITH BECAUSE JUDITH HAS A
FEW OTHER STORIES AND THINGS
SHE IS GOING TO SHOW US.
SO WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says ELIZABETH.

Missus UJ says HI, ELIZABETH.
AND YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA OR JUDITH.
OKAY, KWABENA.
THEY'RE KEEPING YOU BUSY.

Elizabeth says WHERE DID YOU
GET YOUR SCARF?

Kwabena says THIS SHAWL HERE?
ACTUALLY, THIS ONE IS A
PIECE OF MATERIAL THAT
I NOTICE WAS AT MY HOME.
A LOT OF THE CLOTHES
WE WEAR AT OUR HOME,
THEY ARE AFRICAN PRINTS
AND AFRICAN FABRIC.
I TOOK THIS PIECE
TO MY CLASSROOM.
AND IT HAS BEEN MY STORY
TELLING SHAWL EVER SINCE.
I LIKE THE BRIGHT COLOURS.
AND I THINK IT IS DONE
WITH A TIE DYE TECHNIQUE.
BUT IT'S JUST BEAUTIFUL.
I LOVE IT.
AND I THINK IT'S
COTTON, THE MATERIAL.

Missus UJ says WOW.
THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
IT WOULD BE KIND OF NEAT,
WOULDN'T IT, DO THE KIDS IN
YOUR CLASS, WHEN THEY STORY
TELL, PUT THE SHAWL ON?

Kwabena says OH, YEAH.
OFTEN, THE PERSON WHO IS
TELLING THE STORY WILL SIT IN
A SPECIAL STOOL THAT I HAVE,
AND THEY WILL PUT THIS STORY
SHAWL ON THEIR SHOULDER.
THEY REALLY LIKE THAT.

Missus UJ says OH, THAT'S GREAT.
THAT MUST BE REALLY SPECIAL.
OKAY, KWABENA,
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
AND THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
BOYS AND GIRLS, WE'RE JUST
GOING TO HOLD FOR A FEW
MINUTES, AND JUDITH IS GOING
TO GO ON, AND THEN WE ARE
GOING TO TAKE A NUMBER
OF YOUR CALLS AT THE END.
SO LET'S JUST PAY ATTENTION
WHILE JUDITH GOES ON WITH HER
SECOND STORY, OKAY?

Judith goes over “The orphan boy.”

She says I'M JUST GOING TO WALK
YOU THROUGH THIS QUICKLY.
BECAUSE IT'S A BOOK I THINK
YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ
YOURSELF CALLED
THE ORPHAN BOY.
AND THIS ELDER, HE LIVES
OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY.
AND I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU.
NOW, WE JUST SAW HOW IMPORTANT
STORY IS, AND HOW IMPORTANT
LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY IS.
WHY DO YOU THINK THIS ELDER,
IN THIS GREAT MASAI NATION,
WHY DO YOU THINK HE LIVES
OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY?
NOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF
STORIES IN THE VILLAGE AS
TO WHY HE LIVES OUTSIDE
OF THE COMMUNITY.
I WONDER IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA
AS TO WHY HE LIVES OUTSIDE
THE COMMUNITY?
WHILE YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT
IT, I'M JUST GOING TO SHOW YOU
SOME MORE PAGES.
AND YOU CAN CALL
IN AND TELL ME
WHY HE LIVES OUTSIDE
OF THE COMMUNITY.
BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN, OUT
OF NOWHERE, A YOUNG BOY COMES
TO HIS AREA, WHERE HE LIVES
OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY,
AND SAYS THAT HE WILL
TAKE CARE OF HIM.
AND HE'S SO AMAZED BECAUSE HE
THINKS, FINALLY, I'LL HAVE
A SON SO OLD IN MY LIFE.
AND AS THE DAYS GO BY, THE
YOUNG BOY, WHOSE NAME IS
KILIGAN, HELPS WITH
ALL THE CHORES.
HE GETS WATER AND
TEA FOR THE ELDER.
AND TAKES THE CATTLE, WHICH
ARE VERY SACRED, FOR THE
PEOPLE OF KENYA, FOR THE
MASAI, AND TAKE THE CATTLE OUT
TO PASTURE.
AND WHILE HE IS DOING THAT,
THE OLD MAN IS SO INTRIGUED.
HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY IT
IS THE LAND IS SO LUSH WHEN
EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE HAVING
A DROUGHT THROUGHOUT KENYA.
HIS LAND IS SO LUSH.
AND AS YOU CAN SEE, HE'S AWARE
THE BUZZARDS ARE AROUND IN OH
AREAS, AND IT'S SO DRY.
AND SOMEONE MENTIONED WHY
IT WAS THERE WAS NO WATER.
WELL, WHEN IT BECOMES VERY
DRY, AND THERE'S NO RAIN,
THERE IS NOTHING FOR THE
CATTLE TO DRINK, SO THEY HAVE
TO GO GREAT DISTANCES
TO GET WATER.
SO KILIGAN, AS WE SAW
EARLIER -- THANK YOU.
KILIGAN AND THE ELDER
BECOMES VERY, VERY CLOSE.
BUT HE IS HAUNTED.
AND YOU CAN SEE THIS
DARK SHADOW HERE.

A picture of the elder with a shadow behind him illustrates one of the pages of the book.

Judith says HE IS HAUNTED AS TO WHAT
IS THE MYSTERY OF KILIGAN.
WHY IS IT THAT HE IS ABLE
TO MAINTAIN THE LUSHNESS
OF THE EARTH?
WHY IS IT THAT THE CATTLE HE
HAS ARE SO WELL-FED, AND THEY
HAVE SO MUCH MILK TO OFFER,
WHEN THERE ARE OTHERS IN THE
VILLAGE WHERE THEY DON'T.
AND HE IS BEING HAUNTED BY IT.
BUT HE MADE A
PROMISE TO KILIGAN.
HE WON'T WATCH HIM
WHILE HE GOES TO WORK.
AND HE MUST NEVER ASK
QUESTIONS BECAUSE KILIGAN WAS
GIVEN THE SECRET
BY HIS FATHER.
AND AS HE RESTS, THE ELDER
IS HAUNTED MORE AND MORE,
UNTIL HIS DARK SIDE, HIS DARK
CONSCIENCE IS BOTHERING HIM
AND ECHOING.
GO AND LOOK.
GO AND TAKE A PEEK.
IT'S NOT GOING TO
BOTHER ANYTHING.
FOLLOW HIM DURING THE DAY
AND FIND OUT HOW HE DOES
WHAT HE DOES.
AND THE OLD MAN SAYS, NO, NO,
NO, NO, I MADE A PROMISE,
AND I HAVE TO STAY
TRUE TO MY PROMISE.
AND I WONDER, DO YOU
THINK HE SHOULD STAY TRUE
TO HIS PROMISE?
IF YOU THINK HE SHOULD STAY
TRUE -- HE PROMISED KILIGAN
HE WON'T LOOK, HE WON'T PEEK
WHILE HE GOES TO WORK.
YET, HE'S BEING HAUNTED
BY THIS DARK SHADOW.
I WONDER IF YOU COULD CALL IN
AND TELL ME FIRST WHO AND WHY
THIS ELDER LIVES
OUTSIDE OF THE NATION?
AND SHOULD HE
BREAK HIS PROMISE?
I WONDER IF YOU CAN CALL IN?
ARE WE GETTING ANY CALLS?

Missus UJ says YES.
WE HAVE SOME CHILDREN THAT
WOULD LIKE TO CALL IN.
WHILE WE'RE CONNECTING, YOU
CAN KEEP GOING, AND I'LL LET
YOU KNOW WHEN WE HAVE OUR
FIRST CALLER ON THE LINE.

Judith says BECAUSE I DON'T
WANT TO TELL THEM.

Missus UJ says OKAY, I THINK WE HAVE A
CALLER FROM TRILLIUM HERE.
MAYBE THIS STUDENT WILL
HAVE THE ANSWER TO YOUR
FIRST QUESTION.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says DEVON.

Missus UJ says HI, DEVON.
AND DO YOU HAVE THE ANSWER
TO JUDITH'S QUESTION?

Devon says YES.

Missus UJ says GREAT, OKAY.
DO YOU WANT JUDITH TO
REPEAT THE QUESTION?

Devon says NO.

Missus UJ says OKAY, SO GO
AHEAD, DEVON.

Devon says BECAUSE HE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN KICKED OUT.

Judith says AH, HE WAS KICKED OUT.
THAT'S WHY THE ELDER LIVES
OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY.
HE WAS KICKED
OUT OF COMMUNITY.
NOW, WHY DO YOU THINK HE WAS
KICKED OUT OF THE COMMUNITY?
DID HE DO SOMETHING WRONG?

Devon says YES.

Judith says WHAT DID HE DO, DO YOU THINK?

Devon says HE HURT SOMEONE.

Judith says AH, WELL, THAT'S A GOOD
REASON TO BE TAKEN
OUT OF THE COMMUNITY.
SO HE HURT SOMEONE.
AND OVER THE YEARS, HE'S
BEEN LIVING ALONE AND JUST
CONTEMPLATING IT AND FEELING
SO BAD ABOUT WHAT HE'S DONE.
THAT'S REALLY GOOD.
THANK YOU.
I WONDER IF THERE'S
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

Missus UJ says SURE, WE CAN TAKE SOME OTHER
CALLS RIGHT NOW ON THAT.
GREAT.
JUST WHILE WE'RE CONNECTING,
WAS THERE SOMETHING ELSE --
MAYBE WE COULD JUST PUT,
SOME OF THE TEACHERS MIGHT
APPRECIATE GETTING ANOTHER
LOOK AT THE COVER, BECAUSE
I'M SURE THEY ARE
GOING TO WANT TO --

Judith shows the cover of the book again.

She says THAT'S THE STORY.

Missus UJ says GREAT, OKAY.
WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM FLAMBOROUGH.
HI.

The caller says HI.

Missus UJ says WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says GRAHAM.

Missus UJ says HI, GRAHAM.
AND YOU HAVE AN ANSWER
TO JUDITH'S QUESTION?

Graham says YEAH.

Missus UJ says GREAT, OKAY.

Graham says I THINK HE WAS KICKED OUT OF
THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE THEY
DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO
PAY OFF THE RENT IN THE HOUSE
OR SOMETHING.

Judith says OH, SO MAYBE HE DIDN'T HAVE
ENOUGH MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF
HIS PAYMENTS ON HIS HOUSE.
NOW, THAT MAKES SENSE LIVING
HERE IN NORTH AMERICA, BUT I
MUST LET YOU KNOW THAT IN THE
MASAI NATION, THEY LIVE IN
THESE WONDERFUL HUTS.
SO MAYBE HE WASN'T ABLE TO PAY
FOR ALL THE MATERIALS THAT
WENT INTO BUILDING THIS HUT.
THAT COULD BE IT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
SO HE LIVES OUTSIDE
OF THE COMMUNITY.

Missus UJ says THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO
TAKE ANOTHER CALLER?
DO YOU WANT TO EXTEND IT?
OKAY, GREAT.
SO WE'LL CONNECT
WITH ANOTHER STUDENT.
WE HAVE ELGIN
AVENUE ON THE LINE.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says NICK.

Missus UJ says HI, NICK.
AND YOU HAVE AN ANSWER
TO JUDITH'S QUESTION?

Nick says YEAH, I THINK THE OLD MAN
SHOULD KEEP HIS PROMISE.

Judith says OH, WHY?

Nick says BECAUSE USUALLY WHEN YOU MAKE
A PROMISE, YOU SHOULD KEEP IT
BECAUSE IF THE OTHER PERSON
FINDS OUT, THEY MIGHT NOT LIKE
YOU ANYMORE.

Judith says THAT'S ONE GOOD REASON.
AND MAYBE THE YOUNG BOY HAS A
REASON TO KEEP IT A SECRET,
RIGHT?
MAYBE HE HAS A GOOD REASON.

Nick says YUP.

Judith says I THINK THAT'S A GOOD ANSWER.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Missus UJ says GREAT.
THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
WE CAN CONNECT WITH
ANOTHER STUDENT.
I KNOW THERE'S MANY OF THEM
OUT THERE THAT WOULD LIKE TO
TALK TO YOU ABOUT
THEIR ANSWER.
GREAT, OKAY.
WE HAVE FLAMBOROUGH
ON THE LINE.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says HELLO?

Missus UJ says HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says ASHLEY.

Missus UJ says HI, ASHLEY.
AND YOU HAVE AN ANSWER
TO JUDITH'S QUESTION?
YOU HAVE YOUR OPINION?

Ashley says I DON'T GOT AN ANSWER,
BUT I'VE GOT A QUESTION.

Missus UJ says OKAY, SURE.
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR
YOUR QUESTION.

Ashley says WHERE DOES HE GET HIS FOOD?

Judith says WHERE DOES THE
ELDER GET HIS FOOD?

Ashley says YEAH.

Judith says OH, THAT'S A REALLY
GOOD QUESTION.
WELL, YOU KNOW, IN AFRICA,
THEY GROW FRUITS AND
VEGETABLES JUST LIKE WE DO.
SO HE GETS THE
FOOD FROM THE LAND.
THERE'S NO GROCERY
STORE THERE.

Ashley says OKAY.

Judith says GOOD QUESTION.
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.

Missus UJ says THANKS FOR CALLING
THAT ONE IN.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE
ANOTHER QUESTION,
OR DO YOU WANT TO MOVE
A LITTLE BIT FURTHER?

Judith says SURE.

Missus UJ says WE STILL HAVE FIVE MINUTES,
SO WE CAN TAKE SOME
MORE QUESTIONS.
ELGIN AVENUE, HI.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says HI, ELGIN AVENUE.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says HELLO?

Missus UJ says HI.
WHO'S ON THE LINE?

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says HELLO.

The caller says HI, I HAVE AN ANSWER FOR
WHY HE ISN'T IN THE VILLAGE.

Judith says PLEASE, TELL ME.

The caller says MAYBE HE MIGHT HAVE A
DISEASE, AND IF HE LIVES
IN THE VILLAGE IT'LL ALL
CATCH TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Judith says THAT'S A REALLY GOOD IDEA.
MAYBE HE HAS A DISEASE, AND
HE'S JUST DOING IT BECAUSE HE
REALLY WANTS THE COMMUNITY TO
STAY STRONG, SO HE'S GOING TO
STAY OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY.
IT'S A REALLY
SELFLESS ACT FOR HIM.
THAT'S REALLY GOOD.
YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK WHAT
I'M GOING TO DO IS LET YOU
FIND OUT ALL YOU CAN
ABOUT THE MASAI NATION
AND READ THIS BOOK.
AND YOU'LL FIND IT EITHER
IN YOUR LIBRARY, OR YOU CAN
PURCHASE IT YOURSELF.
BECAUSE I WANT TO INTRODUCE
ONE OTHER BOOK TO YOU.
AND THAT'S JUST A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT AFRICA.

A children’s book entitled “Nathaniel Talking,” by Eloise Greenfield, appears on screen. A picture of a boy in a cap and a mother holding a baby on the background illustrates the cover.

Judith says BECAUSE WHAT WE DO IN A LOT OF
OUR SCHOOLS, AND PROBABLY IN
YOUR SCHOOLS, AS WELL, IS WE
TRY TO FIND EVERY WAY TO OPEN
UP THE IDEAS THAT HAVE TO DO
WITH BLACK HISTORY MONTH,
BUT AS KWABENA TOLD ME, IN HIS
SCHOOL, THEY DON'T JUST LEAVE
IT IN ONE MONTH.
THEY INCORPORATE IT THROUGHOUT
THEIR WHOLE CURRICULUM
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
THIS BOOK HERE,
OUT OF
AFRICA
, THIS BOOK HERE IS
WRITTEN BY A WOMAN BY THE NAME
OF ELOISE GREENFIELD, AND SHE
IS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AUTHOR,
AND QUITE A WONDERFUL AUTHOR.
AND I'D LIKE TO JUST, I'M
GOING TO PICK UP THIS BOOK
NOW, AND OPEN IT UP A LITTLE
BIT AND SHARE SOME THINGS
WITH YOU.
AND IT STARTS OFF, THIS IS
LIFE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF
A YOUNG BOY GROWING UP IN
AMERICA, AN AFRICAN AMERICAN,
AND HE STARTS OFF WITH
HIS OWN LITTLE RAP.
AND I NEED YOUR HELP.
SO IN YOUR CLASSROOM, IF YOU
COULD JUST DO THIS WITH ME
BECAUSE IT HELPS
ME KEEP RHYTHM,
AND I KNOW YOU THINK I
CAN'T HEAR YOU, BUT I CAN.

She snaps her fingers to keep a beat.

She says HERE WE GO.
THANK YOU.
IT'S NATHANIEL TALKING
AND NATHANIEL'S ME.
I'M TALKING ABOUT
MY PHILOSOPHY.
ABOUT THE THINGS I DO,
AND THE PEOPLE I SEE.
ALL TOLD IN THE WORDS OF...
NATHANIEL BE FREE.
THAT'S ME, THAT'S ME, I CAN
RAP, I CAN RAP, I CAN RAP,
RAP, RAP, RAP, ETCETERA, ETCETERA.
THIS IS NATHANIEL'S RAP,
AND IT STARTS OFF THAT WAY.
I'M GOING TO LEAVE IT FOR YOU
TO READ BECAUSE WHAT WE'VE
DONE IN SOME CLASSES, AND
YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY IT, IS
WE'VE TAKEN THIS RAP, AND
WE'VE WRITTEN OUR OWN RAPS.
SO I WOULD PUT IN
KWABENA'S NAME.
IT'S KWABENA TALKING,
AND KWABENA IS ME.
I'M TALKING ABOUT
MY PHILOSOPHY.
AND HE'D WRITE HIS OWN.
SO THEN THERE ARE ALL
THESE OTHER POEMS.
AND I WOULD LIKE TO
SHARE ANOTHER ONE.
IT'S A LITTLE SAD, BUT
IT'S BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN.
IT'S FROM NATHANIEL'S STORY.
THESE ARE ALL
POEMS OF HIS LIFE.
IS THAT OKAY IF
I PUT THIS UP?

Missus UJ says SURE.
WE JUST HAVE A COUPLE
OF MINUTES LEFT,
SO WE'LL TAKE SOME
QUESTIONS AT THE END.

Judith says AND HE WRITES
ABOUT MISSING MOMMA.
AND HE SAYS, LAST YEAR, WHEN
MOMMA DIED, IT'S A LITTLE SAD,
I WENT TO MY ROOM TO
HIDE FROM THE HURT.
I CLOSED MY DOOR, AND I
WASN'T GOING TO COME OUT,
NEVER, NO MORE.
BUT MY UNCLE, MY UNCLE, HE
SAID YOU'RE GOING TO PUSH ON
PAST THIS PAIN.
AND ONE OF THESE DAYS
YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL
LIKE YOURSELF AGAIN.
I DON'T MISS A DAY
THINKING ABOUT MOMMA.
SOMETIMES I CRY, BUT MOSTLY,
MOSTLY, I THINK ABOUT
THE GOOD THINGS.
YOU SEE, MOMMA, MOMMA WAS FUNNY,
WAS FULL OF JOKES, WAS PRETTY,
DARK BROWN SKIN, LAUGHTER,
WAS HARD HUGS AND KISSES.
A MAD MOMMA SOMETIMES, BUT
ALWAYS, ALWAYS SHE WAS LOVE.
AND HE WRITES ABOUT THE
OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY.
AND I JUST HIGHLY RECOMMEND
THIS BOOK, AS WELL.

Missus UJ says THANK YOU.
AND BOYS AND GIRLS, JUDITH AND
KWABENA, WE CAN STAY JUST FOR
A FEW MORE MINUTES BECAUSE I
KNOW SO MANY OF YOU HAVE SOME
QUESTIONS, AND WE WILL TAKE
SOME OF YOUR QUESTIONS.
AND JUST WHILE WE'RE
CONNECTING WITH THE FIRST
SCHOOL, ON BEHALF OF ALL
THE CHILDREN IN THE VIRTUAL
CLASSROOM, I WANT TO THANK
JUDITH AND KWABENA FOR VISITING
THIS AFTERNOON AND
HELPING US ALL CELEBRATE
BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
SO TEACHERS, IF ANY OF YOU
HAVE TO GO, WE UNDERSTAND,
BUT WE WILL STAY.
WE HAVE A CALLER
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says HELLO?

Missus UJ says HI.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says MELISSA.

Missus UJ says HI.
AND DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR JUDITH OR KWABENA?

Melissa says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY, GO AHEAD.

Melissa says IS THAT YOUR FAVOURITE
STORY THAT YOU TOLD?
[laughing]

Kwabena says YOU KNOW, THAT'S
A HARD QUESTION.
IT'S ONE OF MY
FAVOURITE STORIES.
I REALLY ENJOY
TELLING THAT STORY.

Missus UJ says GREAT, THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
WE CAN TAKE ANOTHER CALLER.
IT CERTAINLY IS BECOMING
ONE OF MY FAVOURITES.
I ENJOYED IT SO MUCH, SO MUCH.
OKAY, ELGIN AVENUE.
HI.

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says WHO'S ON THE LINE?
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says ANDREA.

Missus UJ says HI, ANDREA.
AND YOU HAD A QUESTION
FOR JUDITH OR KWABENA?

Andrea says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY.

Kwabena says HI, ANDREA.

Andrea says I WANTED TO KNOW WHY YOU
PICKED THAT STORY TO TELL?

Kwabena says WHY I PICKED THAT ONE?
BECAUSE YOU SEE, REMEMBER I
STARTED OFF BY TALKING ABOUT
STORY TELLING IN AFRICA,
AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS?
AND RIGHT THERE, IN THAT
STORY, THOSE PEOPLE USED
THE STORY TO COME UP
WITH THEIR SOLUTIONS.
AND I THOUGHT IT
WAS VERY UNIQUE.
AND I LOVE THAT STORY.

Andrea says OKAY.

Missus UJ says GREAT.
AND THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
I THINK WE HAVE ANOTHER
STUDENT ON THE LINE
FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
HI.

The caller says HI.

Missus UJ says WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says BRENDAN.

Missus UJ says HI.
AND YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA OR JUDITH?

Brendan says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY, GO AHEAD.

Brendan says DO YOU LIKE TELLING
THOSE STORIES A LOT?

Kwabena says OH YEAH, I ENJOY
TELLING STORIES.
CAN'T YOU TELL FROM THE WAY I
WAS CARRYING ON OUT THERE
THAT I ENJOY TELLING STORIES?
I REALLY DO ENJOY
TELLING STORIES.

Missus UJ says DO YOU LIKE TELLING STORIES?

Brendan says YES.

Missus UJ says THAT'S GOOD, THAT'S GOOD.
BECAUSE THAT'S CERTAINLY
SOMETHING WE'RE ALL LEARNING
TO TELL, ISN'T IT?

Brendan says YES.

Missus UJ says THAT'S GREAT.
AND YOU'VE SEEN IT FROM TWO OF
THE MASTERS FROM TORONTO TODAY.
THANKS FOR CALLING IN.

Brendan says THANK YOU.

Missus UJ says YOU'RE VERY WELCOME.
AND WE STILL HAVE TIME
FOR A COUPLE OF CALLERS.

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says HI, ELGIN AVENUE?

The caller says YES.

Missus UJ says HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says SCOTT.

Missus UJ says HI, SCOTT.
AND YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA OR JUDITH?

Scott says YES, I HAVE A
QUESTION FOR KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY.

Kwabena says HI, SCOTT.

Scott says HI.
I JUST WANTED TO KNOW, DID
THAT DRUM COME FROM AFRICA?

Kwabena says THAT PARTICULAR DRUM, YES.
IT CAME FROM WEST AFRICA.
IT'S CALLED A DJEMBE, AND THOSE
TYPE OF DRUMS CAN BE FOUND
MOSTLY IN GHANA OR NIGERIA
OR ANY OF THE SURROUNDING
WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES.

Scott says OH, AND HAVE YOU
EVER BEEN TO AFRICA?

Kwabena says WOULD YOU BELIEVE THAT I'VE
NEVER BEEN TO THE CONTINENT?
BUT IT'S ACTUALLY
A DREAM OF MINE.
AND SOMEDAY, YOU KNOW, I
WILL DEFINITELY VISIT
THE CONTINENT.
AFRICA IS A GREAT PLACE.
IT HAS A LOT OF GREAT CITIES.
AND AS WELL AS THE
COUNTRYSIDE, AS WAS TOLD
IN THE STORY THERE OF
THE MASAI PEOPLE.
BUT A LOT OF GREAT CITIES,
SKYSCRAPERS, AND MODERN LIFE
IN OTHER PARTS OF AFRICA.
BUT I WOULD DEFINITELY LIKE
TO SEE THAT PLACE, YES.

Missus UJ says GREAT.
THANKS FOR CALLING IN, SCOTT.
I THINK WE CAN TAKE
ANOTHER CALLER.
BOY, THE CHILDREN HAVE REALLY
ENJOYED THIS AFTERNOON.
ELGIN AVENUE.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
HELLO, PICK UP YOUR PHONE.
HELLO?
OOPS, I THINK THEY
MAY HAVE HUNG UP.
WELL, WE'LL JUST HAVE
TIME FOR ONE MORE CALL.
OKAY, YOU'RE GOING TO BE OUR
LAST CALLER FROM ELGIN AVENUE.
HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says HELLO.

Missus UJ says HI, WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

The caller says LAUREN.

Missus UJ says HI.
AND YOU HAVE A QUESTION
FOR KWABENA OR JUDITH?

Lauren says KWABENA.

Missus UJ says OKAY, GO AHEAD.

Lauren says HOW LONG HAVE YOU
BEEN TELLING STORIES?

Kwabena says HOW LONG HAVE I
BE TELLING STORIES?
FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
I'VE ALWAYS TOLD STORIES, EVEN
BEFORE I BECAME A TEACHER.
EVEN WHEN I WAS A
CHILD LIKE YOURSELF.
YOU CAN ASK YOUR
TEACHER TO TELL A STORY.
MANY OF THE STUDENTS IN MY
CLASS, THEY TELL STORIES
RIGHT NOW.
IF THEY READ A BOOK, AND THEY
REALLY LIKE THAT STORY, OR IF
THEIR PARENTS TELL THEM A
REALLY WONDERFUL STORY FROM
THEIR CULTURE, I GIVE THEM
THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THAT
STORY WITH US IN CLASS.
SO I'VE BEEN TELLING STORIES
FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
YOU CAN START, IF
YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.

Missus UJ says COULD I ASK YOU, WHILE YOU'RE
STILL ON THE LINE, ELGIN
AVENUE, DID YOU ENJOY
THIS AFTERNOON'S PROGRAM?

Lauren says YES!

Missus UJ says OKAY.
COULD I ASK YOU TO MAKE A
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR
GUESTS, TO JUDITH AND KWABENA,
COULD I ASK YOU TO THANK THEM,
ON BEHALF OF ALL THE CHILDREN
ON THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM?

All students say THANK YOU!

Kwabena says YOU'RE WELCOME.
YOU'RE VERY WELCOME.
IT'S MY PLEASURE.

Missus UJ says BYE FOR NOW.
THANKS FOR JOINING IN.

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Watch: Black History Storytelling