West African Cinderella

I really did enjoy this Cinderella adaptation, it definitely fulfilled many of the aspects of what makes a story uniquely a Cinderella tale. The Cinderella character, Chinye, was inherently good, what I liked about this version is that Chinye’s only physical description was that she looked like her mother, usually her character is described as being extremely beautiful instigating jealousy from her stepmother. Another aspect of a Cinderella story that this one had was the abusive stepmother and step sister who would torment the protagonist. However, something that stood out in this version was that unlike in many Cinderella stories Chinye’s father was still alive while her stepmother abused her. The only mention of her father though was at the beginning when he is described as marrying the stepmother and at the end when he is chasing after her when she is bombarded with hornets. This could be telling that men in these kinds of households do not actually have much involvement with the raising of children. There is also an animal that serves to help the protagonist in this version of Cinderella, instead of rats being transformed into horses it is a single flamingo that just happens to talk. There was no ball or prince charming or magical outfit change in this version. But there is the fairy god mother character who was the woman who lived in a hut in this story, there is a greater theme that can be taken from this adaptation beyond the usual Cinderella stories of “what goes around comes around”. But also to respect and listen to your elders, Chinye helped clean the elderly womans home and listened to her advise, to only pick up the tiniest gourds and to break them when she got home. Chinye followed the directions and was pleasantly rewarded when she cracked open the gourds to receive pearls and luxurious jewels. Whereas, when Chinye’s stepsister was sent to the old woman’s house and was advised not to pick up the big gourds, she disobeyed. And when the step sister broke open the large gourds she and her mother were attacked by hornets.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *