Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales


'Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales' is an audiobook produced by Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) and Hachette Book Group. 20% of the proceeds of the book goes towards children in South Africa who have been orphaned and impacted by HIV/AIDS.

From the website
This selection of Nelson Mandela's favorite folktales from across the African continent is performed by a diverse group of acclaimed actors who have donated their time and talents to this effort to help children in South Africa orphaned and impacted by HIV/AIDS.
The actors include Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett, Charlize Theron, Blair Underwood, Forest Whitaker, and Alfre Woodard.

Via PR Newswire
"We hope the audiobook will be enjoyed by people of all ages, increasing awareness of Africa's rich cultures while creating a better future for South Africa's vulnerable children," said ANSA Executive Director Sharon Gelman.

In his foreword for the book, Nelson Mandela wrote, "It is my wish that the voice of the storyteller may never die in Africa, that all the children of the world may experience the wonder of books." The audiobook brings these timeless tales to a new oral tradition to be heard around the world.
From Amazon's editorial review
Nobel Peace laureate Mandela understandably gets top billing here, but this collection of short fables compiles writings and translations by numerous authors and features illustrations by a diverse collection of artists. Together, the tales and their accompanying artwork create a patchwork of legends drawn from all over the African continent, from Morocco to Kenya to Swaziland. Snakes with seven heads and Zulu tricksters are found here, as well as various creation myths and a Kenyan lion (with the familiar name of Simba) who teaches a cunning hyena a lesson. The colorful birds, giant elephants and mischievous children populating the volume teach sometimes cryptic lessons about obedience, perseverance, cooperation and the simple strangeness of life. In one story, the children of an East African village must destroy a beautiful and enchanting bird that has brought bad luck to the surrounding countryside. In another, a courageous girl frees a prince from the spell that made him a python. In tales such as these, the dream-like, unpredictable symbology and sometimes cruel morality of myths resonate, and, in Mandela's words, the "gritty essence of Africa" shines through in stories with universal themes.
Visit the website and listen to some excerpts from the book.

Thanks @starcluster_85 for the tip off!

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