THE POWER OF STORYTELLING

Reny
Posted August 21, 2019 from Cameroon
THE POWER OF STORYTELLING
THE POWER OF STORYTELLING : Renette - Speaking at the ARM TALKS storytelling event, Yaounde. (1/1)

 From growing up in the ghetto stony-hilly Bassa neighbourhood in Douala to embracing womanhood in Yaoundé, I was practically raised by my older sisters – each had her turn. For 29 years on earth, I have not spent a complete month with my biological parents talk less of experiencing the village life. And so most of the stories I know about my culture, family, village, tradition were transmitted to me by my older brothers who spent much time with our parents and witnessed almost every scene that produced itself in Manyu Division. 

Whenever I had the chance, I would not trade a moment with my parents for anything. My father would cease every opportunity to tell me about his youth, his experiences as a standard five teacher, his encounters with ghosts, community life, farming seasons and the practice of tradition and witchcraft.

During one of my trips to my village – Njeke, a village in Eyomujok Subdivision, I learnt from my brothers that Njeke was founded by Atta Ndi who came from a village along Kumba road called Baboo. When he arrived Njeke, settled in a forest called Nchangandi which was named after him (the forest of Ndi). Atta Ndi and wife brought forth 6 children: 5 boys and 1 girl. The girl was named Manjoka who later was married to a man in Ewelle, a village next to Njeke where she gave birth to and founded a whole clan. The evolution of the boys is a whole different story.

From Mamfe town, we passed through several other villages before arriving Njeke. On our way, I noticed a crumbling mud house (like mud that’s falling but never touching the ground) raged by a thick bush almost forming a forest. That was the only visible house in that place.  Years later, talking with one of my brothers, I discovered that, the abandoned bushy house is actually a village – Moh Ndchang, a village that had been deserted by its inhabitants owing to the curse of a grieved mother (story for another day)

I am sharing this to say, our stories matter, they shouldn’t be buried with the coming of civilisation. Where we come from, who we are, what defines us, what we are made of and what happened to us can only be known if we tell our stories.

In the following days, I will share with us some reasons we must continually tell our stories. Our story is our voice, we must use that voice to influence and shape generations.

Renette Ayuk

Comments 18

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Jill Langhus
Aug 21
Aug 21

Hello Reny,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your intriguing story, and, yes, you have touched on many other powerful, and interesting stories, too, which I'm curious about and what to know more about. I agree that stories are powerful, too. Looking forward to seeing more.

Hope you're doing well, and having a good week!

Reny
Aug 21
Aug 21

I'm doing well J.
I'm currently writing a book on some of the things I mentioned in the story.

Jill Langhus
Aug 23
Aug 23

Great to hear:-)

Oooo... that sounds good, and interesting. Looking forward to hearing more about it. Please keep us posted.

Hello, Reny,

I like your photo. I also love what you share with us today. This resonates with me, "our stories matter, they shouldn’t be buried with the coming of civilisation. Where we come from, who we are, what defines us, what we are made of and what happened to us can only be known if we tell our stories."

I agree. Stories should be written and shared. Looking forward to reading from you.Thank you for sharing!

Oh, you're writing a book. Me, too! <3

Reny
Aug 23
Aug 23

Thanks for identifying with it Karen. I look forward to sharing more with you sisters.

You're welcome, dear Sister. Me, too! Have a great weekend!

Spiritedsoul
Aug 22
Aug 22

Hi Reny,
Thank you for sharing your story. It is so imperative to keep stories alive, and to share traditions and experiences with others, as Wellers lessons. Storytelling is very powerful indeed.
Hugs and I look forward to reading more from you,
Jess.

Reny
Aug 23
Aug 23

Hugs Jess

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 23
Aug 23

Dear Reny,
You have touched on such important messages. There is so much more to our roots, our customs, our ideas throughout history, and much especially about the wisdom of women has been and continues to be twisted and/or hidden. People have been made afraid of or mistrustful of "old ways". I look forward to more of your stories.

Reny
Aug 23
Aug 23

Thanks Tam for your input.
We must tell our stories ourselves. No one else can do it better

Jennifer Chapin
Aug 23
Aug 23

Dear Reny,
I love this, thank you for sharing. I live on the west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. We have many First Nations people here and once, when I was going through a lot, I was adopted by a family, whose grandfather was also the band's "keeper of stories". His stories went back to the mid 1700's and the arrival of the Europeans. The oral traditions of our First Nations are critical for them and nothing can replicate these stories being passed down from generation to generation.

Reny
Aug 23
Aug 23

Oh Jenni, that's great to know. I hope to visit that part of the world some day. To learn new cultures.
My regards to that great family which showed you love and took you in.

Tumanjong Miranda
Aug 24
Aug 24

Hi Reny,
Your writeup triggers a lot within me. I have come to realize many of us are losing our culture, many don't even identify themselves with their culture. Our culture is our value, and helps shape the way we act. Knowing where we come from helps us shape our future and identify what we need to modify in order to bring a change.
Thank you Reny.

Reny
Aug 25
Aug 25

That's right Miranda. There is a lot we could change we know how culture.
We have tell our stories so we pass on to the next generation what we believe and more

Lisbeth
Aug 24
Aug 24

Absolutely, we must not hid who we are. Our culture and passed is what makes us. I will look up to your follow up reasons. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

Tarke Edith
Aug 25
Aug 25

Hi Rent
Thanks for sharing with us , yes l agreed with you that our voices will be used to shape and influence the generation. love you sis

djamila ibrahim olame

Bonjour chère Reny,
Merci beaucoup de partager votre histoire, je suis tout a fait d'accord avec vous.
Passez une bonne journée.

Araba
Sep 02
Sep 02

Reny, i agree with you. We must tell our story. We can tell best our story to shape the next generation. Tell it my dear!