Dr. Muabilai Tshionyi
Dr. Muabilai Tshionyi (Mwa-bee-lie Chō-nee) writes African folktales. The author captures on paper the traditional folktales he grew up listening to in his childhood country of Congo. These folktales constitute a treasure trove of fascinating intrigue embodying ancestral wisdom. What was formerly passed down orally through stories told by fathers and uncles from one generation to the next, is presented here in entertaining and captivatingly illustrated books.
In these tales animals talk and behave like humans. They use wit or trickery, or both to extricate themselves from predicaments, or to save their lives or others’ lives, or to deceive and take advantage of others. Sometimes the less powerful employ quick wit to trick or make fools of the more powerful. Tshionyi’s “picture books’ [themes] seem as universal as Aesop’s fables,” asserts The Register Guard (November, 2015).
In villages with no internet, no television, no radio, and no cinema for entertainment, these folktales were intended to amuse, to teach or instruct, and sometimes to transmit moral lessons necessary to handle life events. Equally the author aims to preserve and memorialize these stories. For with the rapid advent of technology and social media, this valuable piece of history is becoming a thing of the past and will likely be lost to posterity.