We are so proud to present “Under the Mukusu Tree” a collection of stories written by our 8th grade students at Daylight!
The stories are mostly traditional stories of the Pokot, Turkana, and Karamoja tribes of northwest Kenya.
Many of the stories involve animals like elephants, lions, leopards, ostrich, hyena, and giraffe with which the students are familiar. In Kenya, students take a test, much like the college entrance exam in the US, to determine whether they can continue their studies in high school.
Part of this test is writing an original story which is graded on English spelling and grammar, penmanship, and creativity. Tom Gillaspy and Larry Underkoffler were asked by Michael Kimpur, the founder of the school, and headmaster Eliud Mungoma to work with the students on creative storytelling.
This is the product and yes, the class sat under a giant Mukusu tree.
Writing the stories of the nomadic peoples of northwest Kenya on paper will help to preserve them and parts of the culture. Little has been done in preserving these stories. This is a start. Hopefully, more stories will make the transition from verbal only to also appear on the printed page.
The lives of the traditional peoples of northwest Kenya are changing rapidly. If the stories are not preserved soon, they will be lost forever. Most of the students of Daylight School are orphans, largely resulting from inter-tribal violence.
Daylight School accepts students from all tribes and religions and is changing the dynamics of the area, creating a whole new tribe.