The first 6 weeks of Ubuntu Village have flown by and Ubuntu Village Olukos (Teacher in Yoruba) have enjoyed every minute of it.
We began this six weeks reading a favorite to many, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by Joh Steptoe. From that book, we learned about folktales and what it means to have good character, located Zimbabwe and other African countries on a map, and explored the culture and language of the Shona people.
Oloku Brown taught students the Swahili words associated with the characters in the book. So far we have learned at least 6 new Swahili vocabulary words. Students learned a song and movements to help them remember each word.
Oloku Scott worked with students to recreate the story using pictures and rhyming words.
Check out the Kuumba (Swahili for creativity) in their lyrical retelling of the book:
Two sisters living with their dad. One was happy and one stayed mad. Nyasha was nice, but Manyara was mean. People said they were the most beautiful girls anyone had seen. Their dad loved them both despite any flaws. A very supportive dad, he was down for their cause. When the Village heard the King wanted a wife, the two sisters decided they were about that life. The mean sister said, “I will be Queen!” But who would want to marry somebody so mean? She snuck out at night, and didn’t play fair; she wanted to beat everyone else there. She met a hungry boy and a little old lady. She mocked the trees and acted real shady. When she reached the Kingdom, but when she arrived, she met a snake monster with five heads and eyes. Manyara cried for her sister, the nice one I mean. She warned her about the monster she’d seen. Nyasha hugged her sister and went to check it out, when she entered the room it was just the garden snake that hung about. She giggled and said hello, then the snake began to talk: He said I’m the little boy and old lady that you helped on your walk. I’ve been watching you as you work and play. I am the King and I like what I have seen, You are the most worthy to be the Queen. Manyara really believed Queen she’d be, but it was Nyasha who married and became royalty. The moral of the story is beauty is more than what you see, it is what’s on the inside that determines who you Be. When no one is watching, how do you act? A bad attitude and selfishness…Ain’t nobody got time for that.
During our exploration of Africa, we learned that Africa is the second largest contingent on Earth. It has 53 countries and over 3000 languages spoken. Students also learned that Africa was the birthplace of mathematics. They learned that the oldest mathematical instrument was found in the Lebombo Mountains of Swaziland. The Lebombo bone was made from the fibula of a baboon and used as a measuring device. We will continue to build upon the African origins of civilization and mathematics in weeks to come.
Oloku Bomah shared with us the art and culture of Africa. Students explored the plant and wildlife of Africa and created their own Ndege (Swahili for Bird), Afrikan masks and headdresses for Kings and Queens.