CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 20. . . . June 6, 2003
Anyone who as ever wished they could be someone else will relate to the character of Christopher Mulamba. Based on the Itah Sadu's book by the same title, this animated video portrays a boy who feels that his name is too common. What is special about the name Christopher when there are two other boys by the same name in his class. When Aunt Abigail from Trinidad comes for a visit and tells a tall-tale about a man named Tiger, Christopher acts like "Tiger." Failing to emulate "Tiger's" feat, Christopher's name becomes "24" after the number of his favourite basketball player. It is fun being "24" until the day when "24" tries to cash a birthday cheque made out to "Christopher Mulumba." When "24" asks everyone to tell the banker what his real name is, "everyone" calls him "24." By irritating his mother, Christopher finally gets her to call him by his real name, and thus, he is able to cash Aunt Abigail's birthday cheque. Finally "Christopher Mulumba" can do what no other name can achieve.
As humourous presentation of the identity and self-esteem, this is an excellent video to discuss with children. The target audience will appreciate how Christopher pretends to be someone else. Discussion suggestions included in the video are naming traditions, homonyms, and ideas about personal identity. Itah Sadu's storytelling skills excellently portray the family's cultural background, which is also another way that Christopher is special.
Denise Weir is a consultant with Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, Public Library Services.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.