African AudioBook: Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales is a milestone work that tells many of Africa’s most cherished folktales. It is a great audio book filled with tales for both adults and children of all ages. The stories were told by remarkable actors from around the world.

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales is an audiobook that shares African culture with the rest of the world.

The African audiobook “Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales” released in 2007, have gained popularity not only in continental Africa, but also in the international community.

According to Bill Cosby, Mandela, a Nobel Laureate for Peace, has selected these thirty-two tales with the specific hope that Africa’s oldest stories, as well as a few new ones, be perpetuated by future generations and be appreciated by children throughout the world. In these “beloved stories, morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa,” we meet, among many others, a Kenyan lion named Simba, a snake with seven heads and a trickster from Zulu folklore; we hear the voices of the scheming hyena and learn from a Khoi fable how animals acquired their tails and horns. Several creation myths tell us how the land, its animals, and its people all came into existence under a punishing sun or against the backdrop of a spectacularly beautiful mountain landscape.

Whether warning children about the dangers of disobedience or demonstrating that the underdog can–and often does–win, these stories, through their depiction of wise animals as well as evil monsters, are “universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts, and the mystical.” What is particularly exciting about this book is that many of the stories, in their oral form, are almost as old as Africa itself. Most of them were, in fact, first told in various African tongues around evening fires in centuries past–tales from, for example, the San and the Khoi, the original hunter-gatherers and livestock herders of Southern Africa.

Translated into English and other European languages chiefly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from their original languages–be they Karanga, Nguni, Xhosa, or one of many others–these folktales are a testament to the craft of storytelling and the power of myth. Accompanied by dozens of enchanting, specially commissioned color paintings, Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales–culled from African countries as far-flung as Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya–presents a fountain of precious knowledge that will be treasured by children, as well as adults, for years to come.

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales: Book Review 

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales is an astonishing audio book with a great cause.

2010 Winner of Audiobook of the year: This audiobook was awarded the 2010 Audies for Audiobook of the Year and Best Multi-Voiced Audiobook. It was nominated for a Grammy, received a number of other accolades and awards. The story readings on this audiobook are wonderful for children of all ages and adults as well, and your purchase supports children in South Africa orphaned by AIDS.

The readings are done by numerous remarkable actors including Gillian Anderson, Benjamin Bratt, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, Parminder Nagra, Sophie Okonedo, CCH Pounder, Alan Rickman, Jurnee Smollett, Charlize Theron, Blair Underwood, Forest Whitaker, and Alfre Woodard with a message from Desmond Tutu and music by African legends Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela. -By S. R. Gelman (California, USA)

Way exceeded my expectations!: I bought this book for my little siblings, aged between 10 – 6 years old. Being proudly South Africa, when I saw Mandela’s name and read some of the reviews I immediately went and placed my order. It sounded like a perfect story book. But when it arrived a few days ago and I opened the book I was blown away by just how GREAT this book it. It has many more stories than I thought (so real value for money!), awesome illustrations & even some songs for the kids to learn. And if you play guitar or piano there are even notes so you could play + sing the songs.

GREAT buy for adult & children readers. You won’t regret this purchase…and for such a reasonable price. Very few such quality books left today! This one is a keep! -By Nomad

Super!: This is one of my 4 and 6 year old daughter’s favorites. The readers are all a-list actors. The stories are beautiful. So much better than the average kids storybook.

These stories are probably ones you have never heard before. A couple are a little scary for my girls but they are sensitive. All you do is fast forward. -By Samsara

A Collection to Treasure: A wonderful collection of stories told in a rich assortment of familiar and unfamiliar voices, beautifully put together. This is an audio book to treasure. -By E. Schnurnberger (Albuquerque, NM United States)

Stories are good: Stories are always a good thing. Diversity too. Hearing tales from other lands helps us to learn more about each other. I shared this set with my niece and two nephews ages 5 to 8 yrs old. They loved it too. Truthfully, the real reason why I made this purchase is because of Alan Rickman. He’s one of my favorite actors/voices. I could find only one story read by him, but it was well worth it. -By K. Stoudt “Eclectic Kimmer” (Zellwood, Florida USA)

Great Stories for a Great Cause: I was moved by the fund raising effort support for HIV AIDS orphans in South Africa, familiar and admiring of the story collection released some years ago, I was delighted to listen through the entire collection. The blend of music and voice, brilliantly realized by a host of talented talents “Artists for a New South Africa”, brings these stories alive! Libraries (like mine) and individuals will appreciate each and every track in this 3 CD set that is up for Grammy nomination -By Craig L. Seasholes (Seattle, WA)

A Beautiful Audio book for a Wonderful cause: Nelson Mandela put together this amazing group of celebrities to read and help tell his favorite African Folktales with proceeds going to help AIDS/HIV children in South Africa. That makes it good enough for me. But add to that the fact that the folk tales are charming and so well presented, and you give a gift as much as you get a gift. Well worth it. I also gave it as gifts. -By Bingo-Karen Haney (Florida, USA)

Fansinating stories, great for the commute: Beautifully read! I truly enjoyed listening to these enchanting folk tales read in the easily recognizable voices of some great actors. I think the tales have something to offer for adults and children, with positive lessons and captivating narratives. Listening to these stories helped pass many long afternoon commutes, and I was sad when they were over. I may just have to listen to them again soon. -By Georganne Perkins

About Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Portrait

Nelson Mandela is one of the world’s most revered statesmen, who led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy.

Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948 before being arrested in August 1962. In November 1962 he was sentenced to five years in prison and started serving his sentence at Robben Island Prison in 1963 before being returned to Pretoria, where he was to later stand in the Rivonia Trial. From 1964 to 1982, he was again incarcerated at Robben Island Prison and then later moved to Pollsmoor Prison, during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to the anti-apartheid movement grew steadily.

Released from prison in 1990, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestsellers Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself.

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