Kebba Sonko


The storytellers children

In the middle of my home village Pakalinding in The Gambia, we have gathered around the bonfire. Closest to the fire we children usually sit watching the story teller Majulla Sanneh ("Dada") with expectant eyes. Dada is an old woman, almost blind. Dada starts telling one of the stories that everybody loves to hear. She tells the story vividly with dramatic gestures. In the stories there are often songs, and everybody joins in when Dada sings. Sometimes I interrupt her and ask about different things in the story. My friends become irritated and want Dada to get on with the story. She notices the irritation and says: "I think it's good if you ask questions. Then you will understand the meaning of the stories better. I won't be surprised if Kebba becomes a story teller himself in the future". At that moment I feel proud.

Read more about Children of the storyteller
in Swedish Radio P3 (from 1999)

Sagoberättarens barn

Stories in Swedish and Mandinka

Stories and storytelling has always been and will always be the first lesson about life for the human being. Stories give knowledge of language and that is the most important instrument for communication. The human being achieves understanding for her total existence and for nature which she is depending on. Through that knowledge she can give respect to others, gain curiosity, tolerance and understanding for things which are unknown to her.


Dikter på mina villkor

We experience things in different ways in time and space, and therefore it is good to see what other authors write to understand our human differences. My contribution is to tell stories and write my reflections about politics, religion, environment and injusticies.

Dikter på mina villkor

Djungelpojkens berättelser

"Djungelpojkens berättelser" is a follow-up to "Sagoberättarens barn" which is my first book, a book with humor and wisdom which is typical for the Gambia. This book is more philosophical. The boy is wondering and fantasizing about things and he has his own philosophy of life.

I got inspiration to these stories by listening and talking to the old people in the Gambia about their culture, for example by storytelling, games, farming, cooking, food, wrestling, hunting, drumming, songs and dance. There have always been things to learn about how nice stories and poems should be told and written. I didn't write down the stories I heard as a child, but I was inspired by them and wrote them down in my own way.

Djungelpojkens berättelser

La sukuwoolu (poems)

Poems are important and they play a significant role in the growth and development of every language. Poems can encourage curiosity, widen the mental and intellectual horizons of both the old and young and encourage mutual understanding among scholars.

La sukuwoolu


Gambiafloden är en berättarflod. Den är full av berättelser liksom den är full av olika fiskar och skaldjur.

Ända sedan jag var en liten pojke har jag varje dag fiskat i Gambiafloden

Varje fisk och varje skaldjur jag fångar blir till en berättelse eller en dikt för mig. Vem som helst kan fiska i floden och få hur mycket fisk och skaldjur som helst. Men alla hör inte berättelserna. Att berätta och att skriva om saker och ting är ett sätt för mig att vara och att leva.


Suloo nin Kanoo

Taalinolu Swediso nin Mandinka Kano to

Taalinolu nin taalinla ke ta nun adun ate le binna ke la aadamadino la karan nin lonndi foloo ti a la baluuwo kono. Taalinolu ka kano le yiriwandi adun kan moyo kummaayaata baake le noomoyo nin kalamutaro to. Wo naamaa le aadamadino si lonn ke no a fano la a nin a la baluu fenolu laa. Wo kola a si bunaa nin horomoo dii a nonolu laa. Ka kumpabaliya nin dunaa ke no fen nu la a man ben nu lonn.

Apan och pepparn



Poems in Mandinka and Nko script.