Hello 👋,


How have African languages speakers managed to invent and embrace new vocabulary every time they are invented? Who are the official custodians who have played this role? How do we keep the trend going?

For example, my mother tongue does not have an equivalent for a new invention like cryptocurrency. Who should be responsible for integrating the new words?

Let me know what you think by replying to the email.

How The Tortoise Got The Cracks On His Shell 🐢

There are different versions of this story. However, I find this particular Igbo one very interesting.

A long time ago, a drought hit the animal kingdom. The animals were starved and looked very thin except the birds. The tortoise, noticing this, vouched to find out where they got their food.

The birds refused to disclose their secret to him, claiming he was very cunning. However, they agreed to tell him after the tortoise begged and promised not to play any tricks.

They told him of a feast held high up in the heavens for anyone who could make it up there. But woe unto the tortoise as he had no wings to fly.

But alas! An idea struck him! He asked each of the birds to lend him a feather to attach to his body. The gods were on his side. The birds agreed to his request.

The last requirement he needed to meet was to take a ceremonial name, one which he would be addressed by when he got to the heavens. He chose the name “Everyone of you", and they left for the feast.

On arrival, the host welcomed and led them to a banquet.

 “This food is for every one of you,” said the host before leaving.  

The tortoise stepped forward and reminded them that his ceremonial name was “Everyone of you" so the food belonged to him alone. Therefore he went ahead and ate all the food.

The birds were furious, and they all took back their feathers, leaving him with no wings.

The tortoise pleaded with one of the birds to take a message home to his wife to bring out the softest materials and put them out under the heavens so that he could land safely when he jumped down.

The bird agreed to take the message but changed it when he arrived to teach the tortoise a lesson. He instructed his wife to lay out all the hard materials.

The tortoise saw his wife bringing out materials and became assured that he would land safely. He leapt from the heavens and crashed into the hard materials, shattering his smooth shell into several pieces. It took the best healer in the land to put it back together. 

Until this day, the tortoise and his offspring have a broken shell as a reminder of the cost of greed.

Special Mentions

📌 Shades of benga - KETEBULMUSIC

📌 The political history of the Swahili city-states (600-1863AD): Maritime commerce and architecture of a cosmopolitan African culture - Isaac Samuel

Riddle 🧠

What can pierce one's ears without a hole?  

Check answer

Tongue Twister 👅

Twanga tope ni twange tope tope hilo la twangwa je?(Swahili)

Did you know? 🤯

In most African cultures, there was a lot of stigmatisation of left-handedness. For example, it was disrespectful and considered bad manners to share something or a handshake using the left hand. Most left-handed people were forced to change to right hand at an early stage of their lives.

N/B: Lefthandedness is neither a disease nor a disability.

Enjoy this chill and soothing African music mix.

Special thanks to Stephanie for editing this issue.


Thanks for reading. Remember, it is time to tell our own stories. - Mike.


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