I recently saw some AIDS posters done for the benefit of the youth in a local university here in Nairobi and I wondered why we have totally lost the art of storytelling. Look at these posters.
What a lack of imagination! Why tell a youth anything in such a useless manner? The Greek Aesop, hundreds of years ago was able to instruct youth in a far richer and effective method. Look at this story. A mere story about flies?
The Flies and the Honey-Pot
A NUMBER of Flies were attracted to a jar of honey which had been overturned in a housekeeper’s room, and placing their feet in it, ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and were suffocated. Just as they were expiring, they exclaimed, “O foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves.” Pleasure bought with pains, hurts.
The Kikuyu have a saying, “Murio niwiriyaga” or “Sweetness devours itself”
Any person purporting to advice the youth about the dangers of unprotected sex ought to read this story very very carefully. The good thing about most stories by Aesop is that they are so simple and self explanatory. They need no comment. One only needs to relate each story to a real life context and whack! It clicks. Take care.
In this particular story we may also recall the sad case of the petroleum tanker that killed and maimed so many people near Limuru on the outskirts of Nairobi when it burst into flames. The honey, nay petrol from the overturned tanker had attracted hundreds of poor villagers who swarmed and fought for the overflowing petrol. Then it burst into flames.
The Gikuyu of old were always able to tell stories like Aesop. In their stories told around the fire, in their music, in their artifacts like the house, and the great Gichandi poetry. Everything, everything, had a story to tell.