Libri dal Ciad

Joseph Brahim Seid, Told by Satrlight in Chad, Africa World Press: “In the evening, there are traditional games. Excitement fills the air; a tumult is unleashed. The drums reverberate, roar, summon to the dance. Their staccato boom echoes through the savannah and over the rolling, sandy hills. The young perform war dances, competing in strength, agility and skill. Simulating combat, they brandish their assegais, crouch, rise up and face off in rapid succession. They stamp the ground furiously with their feet: a cloud of dust envelops them in a tremendous halo of glory. All this time, the tom-toms are vibrating, their frenzy marvelously matching the dancers’ movements. Rhythm of life, captivating, lyrical, spellbinding magic! With fertile, protean imagination, griot and bard recite the prowess and deeds of their distant ancestors or sing of the beauty and charms of their betrothed.”
Romantized scenes from Seid’s boyhood, like the festival depicted here, as well as stories from the golden age of empires and other timeless tales in this collection evoke positive images of Chad and Africa more generally. African readers, young and old, regardless of locality, will hear echoes of the folktales, fables, and legends narrated by their grandmothers of an evening under the stars or by the fireside.
In the literature classroom, at secondary and tertiary level, Seid’s imagery should resonate and appeal to the sensibilities of African learners from similar socio-cultural and historical environments. This same imagery can, in turn, be used to introduce non-African learners to Africa. On a continent grappling still to forge new beginnings out of hope and deep despair, cruelty and great humanity, reminders of the past that evoke positive affect and historical figures and events that inspire a sense of pride about being African can enhance endeavor.


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