The education officer of Albany Museum Ms Nozipho Madinda organised a focus week called Myths and Legends of South African Reptiles. The facilitator of the lesson was Mr Basil Mills of National English Literacy Museum.
Mr Basil Mills speaks with forked tongue; He is a maker of dreams and stories as he told many young people about our colourful continent and our rich heritage of myths and legends of South African reptiles. He gave fascinating facts about these animals, their different senses, teeth, scaly skin, eyes and habits and the strange things that they do to catch prey.
He told them stories of the artist mountain tortoise “uFudo”, the seven headed snake and many other stories to create and engender the sense of care, intrigue and value in caring and protecting our wildlife and resources. He passed down his wisdom about his reptile friends so that his audience would gain respect and knowledge for them, and not fear them.
He also gave reasons why the museum, nature conversations, library and schools are so important to the young folk’s lives today. They were shown aspects of interesting traditions of tribal folks and their lore with their art, sculptures, pottery and basketworks to illustrate the lessons of old in our vibrate Africa.
Basil encouraged them to read as much as they could and to visit libraries and museums as they are treasure troves of mementos and memories of fact and fiction. Like Rudyard Kipling in “Just So Stories” Basil mesmerised the children with his bi-coloured python and snakes to give them a sense of magic and diversity that is Africa. The lesson was so exciting and interesting to the learners. The Albany Museum Education Department would like to thank Mr Mills for his wonderful lesson.