Where is Grandmother? | Nal'ibali
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Where is Grandmother?


Written by Robert Muponde


Illustrated by Elizabeth Sparg

Listen to the story here

Early one morning Duma knocked on her grandmother’s door.

Today was Duma’s birthday and Grandmother had made her a red woollen hat as a gift.

Duma was very excited. A mean-looking hyena opened the door.

“Who are you? Where is Grandmother?” asked Duma. “I am Chidhange, your grandmother’s brother,” snarled the hyena.

“I ran away a long time ago when she called me a thief and a scavenger.


I have come back to show her I am neither.”

“Where is Grandmother?” Duma asked again. She was trembling.

“She is here. And she is not here,” said Chidhange, rubbing his full tummy.

Chidhange burped. He burped a lot of red wool.

“Oh no!” thought Duma. “He’s eaten Grandmother!”


She ran away into the bush behind Grandmother’s house.

Chidhange chased after her.

Duma was very frightened.

“But Grandmother is here! She is burning the old grass and leaves.

” When Chidhange saw Grandmother, he got such a fright, he ran right into the fire.


“What a silly hyena,” laughed Grandmother.

Chidhange had mistaken Duma’s gift, hidden under the blankets, for Grandmother.

Now he had a belly full of wool and a very sore bottom!

He ran away and he was never seen again.



Nal’ibali fun

Ideas to talk about

If you were Duma, what would you have done when the hyena opened the door?

If you could replace the hyena as a character which animal would you choose and why?

Do you think it is fair that hyenas are always shown as unfriendly animals in stories?


Draw or paint a picture to illustrate this part of the story:

When Chidhange saw Grandmother, he got such a fright, he ran right into the fire.

Copy the words onto a separate sheet of paper and attach them to the bottom of your picture.


Think about what happened in the story and answer the questions. Look for details in the story to help you.

Chidhange said that he had returned to show his sister that he was neither a thief nor a scavenger.

(An animal that is a scavenger is one that feeds on dead animals). D

o you think Chidhange was a thief or a scavenger? Give reasons for your opinion.

Was Chidhange lying when he said about Grandmother, “She is here. And she is not here.”?

What do you think he meant?

How would you have feel if you went to visit a family member and a meanlooking hyena opened the door?


What other things could the hyena find to eat rather than grandmothers and wool?

Write a suggested “shopping list” for Chidhange. English www.nalibali.org


Make up another story about Chidhange.

In this story, show that he learnt a lesson from what happened in Where is Grandmother?