Monday, April 9, 2012

Thank You! Come Again!

Dr. Ochieng's visit to our classroom was certainly a highlight within our fairytales classes. As an education minor, I had had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ochieng last semester as both a professor and an advisor. Knowing the energy he taught my education class with, I was looking forward to his lecture with great anticipation. I was certainly not disappointed.

Dr. Ochieng is an incredibly dynamic person and accordingly, his tellings of Kenyan folktales were very captivating. His methods of presentation provided not only entertainment, however, but a nice glimpse of his native culture. Turning off the lights and teaching us a few customary folktale phrases, for example, added greatly to the cultural exposure of the experience. I also found his explanation of the cultural significance of the themes within the morals of his stories enlightening. For example, he explained that many of his tales glorified "wit" as a response to the demands of the African environment for resourcefulness.

The inclusion of folksongs, chants and dancing, however, stood out as the most unique part of Dr. Ochieng's delivery. The songs were immensely fun to part take in and I could easily understand how they could become a staple within a culture. It was an extra treat to see everyone in class "shake it like the room was on fire" as Dr. Ochieng amusingly described the dance portion.

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