Storytelling: Parents advocate revival of ancient culture to curb negative social media

SOME Plateau parents have advocated for traditional oral storytelling culture to curb the negative effects of social media on today’s generation, particularly children.

The parents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Jos, noted that oral storytelling, which was one of the strings that held families together and kept them entertained, had been abandoned.

Mr Ike Eze, a 73-year-old grandfather, told NAN that storytelling during or after evening meals, which had been an important part of culture in Nigeria and other parts of Africa for centuries, should be revived.

Eze told NAN that such oral stories were passed down from generation to generation to help preserve the history and values of a people.

The septuagenarian said that storytelling also served as a form of entertainment and education.

“Oral storytelling fostered a sense of community love and connection, as people gathered together to share stories and learn life lessons from them.

“Social media can be addictive and time-consuming, leading to a lack of face-to-face interaction and a decrease in physical engagements.

“We hardly have time in the family to relate, laugh, cry or even share experiences, we now receive and make calls during meal times,” Eze lamented.

Mr Pam Dung, a community leader in Rayfield, Jos, said that oral storytelling during dinner provided an opportunity for children to learn important life lessons, receive rewards and punishments, and take corrections.

Dung said it had however, become difficult to get children together now as social media and other activities had taken over and eroded traditional practices, leading to increased social vices.

The community leader advised families to create time to talk, and keep communication lines between them open, to create avenues for children to relate more with their families and imbibe good morals.

Mrs Ene Edoh, a grandmother of five, said the face-to-face interaction during meal time storytelling was an important part of traditional learning process, and should be revived and sustained.

Edoh said this would ensure direct communication and deeper understanding of the story, adding that the presence of the whole family created a sense of togetherness and shared experience.

On her part, C, said that digital revolution could lead to a loss of cultural heritage and weakening of the bond between parents and children.

Etu said social media might promote unrealistic standards of beauty and success, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem among the youths.

On the other hand, she said, traditional storytelling would give children a family recipe of good morals.

“Tell your children your stories, let them learn from them and not from the internet,” Etu said.

Mr Bola Ayomide, said growing up in the village was fun as after every evening meal, there would be moonlight tales, unfortunately, he said, all that had now been left in the past.

Ayomide, who recalled “Tales by Moonlight”, a popular television show in the 80s and 90s, said though it kept families entertained and children educated those days, even that had been currently replaced by cartoons, video games and harmful social media content.

He suggested the return of ancient traditional practices such as oral story telling and community gathering and entertainment, to curb some of the social vices the society was now plagued with. (NAN)


-November 11, 2023 @ 14:17 GMT |