I’m particularly intrigued by how inter-connected we are as humans despite obvious geographic boundaries. Think about it, there just is so much we share across different cultures. I was working on The Monkeys’ Quest folktale app when it suddenly occurred to me that I had come across a Western story with a similar plot. And it didn’t take long for me to dig up the story in question. I’m talking none other than the all Great Dr. Seuss’ Star Belly Sneetches. As a kid growing up, I loved the Dr. Seuss series and my aunt who was working for the American International School back at the time made it a point of duty to inundate with them (thanks aunt). One of my favorites is the story of the Sneetches. Rings a bell anyone? Oh, c’mon, I’m sure it resonates with someone out there…lol. I still have it tucked somewhere in my parent’s house. Thanks to technology, there’s an app of it here courtesy of Oceanhouse Media. Grab it here. A brief recap though, it tells the story of the Sneetches who had stars on their bellies and those who had none. The latter thus became jealous as the former made a big deal of their skin covering to segregate the have-nots. In the end, a smart doctor made fortunes adding and removing the stars until the sneetches realized their stupidity.
As humourous as the story was to me as kid, I look back today with a different and deeper perspective than my 10 year old brain could have ever figured back then. It really is analogous to some dramas facing society today. It’s interesting how such a beautifully told story has ramifications even in today’s world where we make big deals out of nothing. In our complex society as we make it, we struggle to fit into different labels.
From the African perspective, a story that comes close to that is that of our app, “The Monkeys’ Quest”. It’s a story about discontent, jealousy and envy, a good one for kids. Characteristic of our stories, prepare for some good humour and thrill. I’ll stop short of revealing a lot about it else, risk sucking the excitement out. So, get it from the app stores and drop me a note telling me what you see. And while at it, be sure to look out for some cultural elements in each scene.