African Culture is World Heritage

African Proverb

African Proverb
Distance diminishes the elephant

Smartest Person in the Room African Folklore

Smartest Person in the Room African Folklore Story

African folklore is the traditional method of storytelling of the African village passed down through generations of storytellers.



Crocodile thought himself to be the smartest person in the room but as we shall soon see in this African Folklore, thinking yourself to be the smartest person in the room is usually a big mistake.


Smartest Person in the Room African Folklore


Crocodile thought himself to be the smartest person in the room
Crocodile thought himself to be the smartest
person in the room

Crocodile and a Gazelle lived together with their wives and families in the same town. One day the Crocodile said, "My good friend Gazelle, let us go and buy some drums in the Oko country."


"All right," replied the Gazelle; but where are we to get the money from?"
"I have the money!” answered the Crocodile.


They started out on their shopping trip and when they walked a little way Crocodile snarled, 

"Wait here! I must return to our town, as I have forgotten something." The Crocodile returned to town, went to the Gazelle’s wife, and said, "My friend has sent me for his children."


Mrs. Gazelle gave them to him, and putting them into a bag, he returned to the place where he left the Gazelle.


They started again, and when they had traveled a long distance the Crocodile saw some honey in a hole in one of the trees, whereupon he said to the Gazelle: "Wait for me here while I go to eat the honey, but you must not undo the bag and look inside!"


The Gazelle was left to guard the sack, which he quickly untied and looking in, he exclaimed: "Why, my children, what is going on here!" He put the bag on his back and hurried home, gave his children back to his wife, and went to the Crocodile's house and said, "My friend has sent me for his children." Mrs. Crocodile gave them to him. Gazelle put the children in the bag and returned quickly to the spot where the Crocodile had left him.


Crocodile thought himself to be the smartest person in the room but as we shall soon see in this African Folklore, thinking yourself to be the smartest person in the room is usually a big mistake.
"Wait for me here while I go to eat the honey,
but you must not undo the bag and look inside!"
After a time the Crocodile arrived, licking the honey off his lips, and picking up the bag, away they went again on their shopping journey.


By and by they reached Oko country and picked out two beautiful hand-carved drums. When Crocodile went to pay for them, he whispered to the drum maker "Don't undo the bag now, there are some gazelles in it for payment for your drums."


As they were returning home, they tried the drums. The Crocodile beat a tune and sang, "Stupid people go on foolish journeys." For the Crocodile thought, the Gazelle had helped to sell his own children for drums. The Gazelle then beat a tune and sang: "At the place where they ate the honey they left their bag of wisdom."


The Crocodile did not know he had exchanged his own children for drums for he thought himself smarter than anyone else. On their way home, they played and sang in many towns, and received money and presents for their entertainment.


On reaching their town the Gazelle hurried to his house and sent off his wife and children to hide in the woods.


Crocodile went to his house and looking around, he asked his wife, "Where are my children?" His wife answered, "Why you sent the Gazelle for them and now you ask 'Where are the children?'

"The Crocodile went in a great rage to the Gazelle's house, but the Gazelle ran away, and as he was escaping, he cried out, "I am the wise Gazelle who outwitted crocodile who thinks himself smarter than everyone else!"



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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My mother is a historian of African culture and history and her influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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