“Teaching is a creative profession.” – Sir Ken Robinson
Wawerũ Mwangi is a high school teacher who lives and works in Naivasha, Kenya. He’s a linguist by training and has written numerous high school textbooks, as well as vernacular texts for primary schools and a teacher’s guide in the Kikuyu language, which have been approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
All this would be quite enough to keep anyone busy, but Mr. Mwangi also loves to write stories. He’s written many that he’s never published, and several that he’s posted to his Facebook account. Waweru says he loves the freedom he enjoys in the world he creates in his stories. It’s a world, he says, where he can “create fantasies, share, inspire, and entertain.” He works hard at his stories, and although he doesn’t generally make any money from them, he’s happy to put a smile on someone’s face.
Mr. Mwangi’s discovery of our Bloom software has been a boon to his storytelling, and has allowed him to create bilingual stories in both English and his mother tongue. Although he inhabits a world quite different than that of most readers of this blog, Bloom has allowed him to tell a great many stories that he can then share easily across cultures and continents. His story Kahĩĩ na ngarĩ, for example, is a creative retelling of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” but with a decidedly Kenyan feel (in this case, it’s a leopard).
Mr. Mwangi also writes intriguing original stories. Wambũi na mũhuko kĩhinga-inĩ, for example, is about a girl who finds a very interesting bag in the bush and has to decide what to do with its contents. Mr. Mwangi says he wrote this story to teach children integrity, even in the face of the challenges of poverty.
This idea—that stories are effective tools for conveying moral principles to children—is as old as stories themselves, and gets to the heart of the primary purpose that stories have always served in culture: they teach us how to be.
Wawerũ Mwangi is clearly a dedicated teacher, and a creative one as well. We’re thrilled he’s found Bloom to be a useful tool in creating stories that speak directly to the language and culture of his students, and we encourage you to click through those links to explore Mr. Mwangi’s stories, as well as the hundreds and hundreds more in the Bloom library.