Sample Illustrations from "Gizo-Gizo! A Tale from the Zongo Lagoon" by Emily Williamson and the Students and Teachers of the Hassaniyya Quranic School
The conceptual framework for this project originated out of a larger, community-based initiative called the Zongo Water Project, whose mission is to use water as a way to improve the quality of life for the Zongo. Working closely with local teachers, Emily Williamson carried out a series of educational workshops at the Hassaniyya Quranic School in the summers of 2012, 2013, and 2014 to teach students about local water and environmental concerns. Employing the story as the foundational element, Emily engaged students in dialogue, shared readings, performances, writing exercises, and visual art, culminating in community drama performances and original folktales. The illustrations and text of this book grew directly out of the work produced in these workshops.
"Gizo-Gizo" Student Preview
One week before the official book launch for "Gizo Gizo! A Tale from the Zongo Lagoon," students of the Hassaniya Quranic School were treated to a special sneak preview and reading. Fittingly, many of the same students who began work on the story and illustrations almost three years ago, were the first to hear the story read aloud, in both Hausa and English. Needless to say, the children were delighted to see their words and pictures transformed into the beautiful, professional book it became. The misadventures of Gizo Gizo--the lazy, selfish, greedy trickster of Hausa oral tradition--are an endless source of entertainment through Sub-Saharan West Africa, and beyond. We are proud to contribute this unique, contemporary original story to the body of Hausa trickster tales.