African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187


Animated graphic film for the rejuvenation of a fading culture: The case of an African oral heritage

Toni Duruaku
  • Toni Duruaku
  • Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 02 June 2015
  •  Published: 30 June 2015


Many Nigerian folk heritages including that of the Igbo race are going extinct. The oral nature of folklore is largely responsible for this gradual extinction. One way of preserving such heritage is by making folk stories accessible to the very young because generational transfer of folk heritage ensures that cultures do not die out. Therefore, a paradigm for transmitting culture to the children must be developed and deployed. Beyond entertainment, Igbo folktales are a veritable means of transmitting pristine traditional values that distinguish the race and transfer race memory encoded in symbols, idioms, allegory and other mechanisms of ancient non-literary cultures. This makes it imperative that these heritages be properly transmitted to the young for the purposes of continuity, entertainment, and storing of knowledge. Yet, there seems to be a weak interface between the children and the adults regarding the transmission of folk heritage. Traditional grandmothers that had the duty of telling didactic stories to children hardly play that role in present societies and communities due to urbanization and atomization of families, among other factors.  This problem was investigated through personal observation and bibliothecal inquiry which indicated that Igbo children prefer new-fangled ‘gizmo’ and new media as channel and forms of entertainment.  This paper investigates the bleak future of Igbo folk heritage under the circumstances. It notes that writers have stored these race memories in books, but recommends that for their dynamic propagation through children, the electronic platforms must be adopted through the adaptation of Igbo folktales to drama, developmental theatre, video and television formats of cartoon animation and video games. This paradigm shift should bring the benefits of the Igbo folktale to the children of today, thereby propagating and sustaining it.


Key words: Culture, language, video format, values, heritage.