“Life is one long, beautiful, mysterious, frightening, exciting story in which we all take part.”
SUSAN WAMŨCIĨ THE STORYTELLER
WAMŨCIĨ or Cῦcῦ Susan, as children call her, was telling stories in Sunday school way back in the sixties. Coming to Kenya in the seventies, she discovered Africa, the home of storytellers, where people understand that:
“Life is one long, beautiful, dangerous, exciting, frightening story in which we all take part”
Constantly recounting the stories that happen to them day by day, keeps them smiling.
In 2001, as part of her Waldorf training in the UK, she took a short course in storytelling, with special emphasis on how stories can heal and enrich us. This taught her to choose her stories carefully. Her storytelling draws on her life experience: her childhood in the UK, motherhood, 30 years as a primary and kindergarten teacher, 10 as an adult educator; not to mention immersion in African culture, through marriage into the Kikuyu community, learning their language and absorbing their customs. This gave her a special strength in telling Kikuyu stories, but she loves all traditional tales – or wisdom tales, as she prefers to call them – animal stories too, and legends of remarkable people, whichever culture they come from.
LIFE IS A GIFT – by SUSAN WAMUCII KUNG’U A Memoir
“I conceived a desire to visit Africa when I was fourteen. My motives for coming changed over the years, and I finally made it when I was 26. Marriage to a Kenyan brought me into the heart of Kenyan, especially Kikuyu, culture. I learnt the language while bringing up my children, and adapted as well as I could to life in the village (including farming and singing in a local Church choir). I enjoyed working as a teacher in many different capacities and types of schools, but finally found my forte in the telling of traditional stories for entertainment. It was at this point that I was given a Kikuyu name, confirming my acceptance by the community. I am Wamũciῖ – the one who belongs to the home.”
In Life is a Gift , the storyteller tells her own story.
“ It was great visiting Kikwata Picnic Site and farm; so close to Nairobi, but completely rural: 21 species of birds in one morning, just sitting at the campsite! Susan has a wonderful personality and an amazing wealth of knowledge, which she imparts so easily. Her gift for storytelling is also quite stunning: this was a new experience for me. We will definitely be back.”
“ Susan's place has a lovely garden with adequate facilities for camping. It is also conveniently located near a scenic trail with access to Ngong Hills. Great spot for hiking and getting away from the city.”
David and Sharon Jones
“ Serene and inviting, the Kikwata Campsite allows one to commune with nature without losing the feeling of home. I have had the pleasure of camping with family and enjoying a day activity too, and I def recommend this getaway. And if you can pair it with Susan's engaging storytelling, the experience is simply amazing!”