By RFIPubliée 16-12-2018Modified 16-12-2018 at 08:46

In Nairobi, it is the second edition this weekend of the festival The re-imagined tale at the Alliance française. The event, which brought together storytellers and griots from across the continent, wants to preserve the tradition of storytelling while modernizing it. And yesterday, Kenyan storytellers were in the limelight.

In front of a delighted public, the author Muthoni Garland tells a founding myth of the kamba tribe, rewritten and transformed: " According to Kamba mythology, the tribe is from an elephant woman. And I like to tell this story in the manner of my grandmother, by asking questions open to the public. So with this story, I ask them, "from whom are you the descendants?" "

" Africans have been around for more than 200,000 years "

For the participants, the story is first and foremost a way to rediscover its history, and to share it. The young Kenyan poet Wangui wa Kamonji finds inspiration in African archeological sites that she has long studied and imagines for example the genesis of rock paintings: " African stories are often left out. And it's disturbing because Africans have been around for more than 200,000 years. Our stories are extremely rich! It is not normal that the world does not know them and that even Africans do not know them. "

" We must also tell new stories "

For the festival organizer Maimouna Jallow, there is urgency. Without this kind of event, the oral tradition of many African countries risks being forgotten: " When I started this project, I went to several villages asking people to tell me the stories of their childhood. which they remembered. Most did not remember any. So time is running out. But I think we also have to tell new stories, to reach the younger generation. "

Maimouna Jallow has launched yesterday a collection of modern African tales with references to YouTube, Beyonce or the Obama family.

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