African tale expo

Vote for one of these two stories. Choose your favourite!

Story 1

This is a story of a young girl that love football and was born in Trinidad a place in the Caribbean then moved to Shashamne Ethiopia story written by Takiyah Cuels. Illustration by Warren Powell.

My name is Takiyah Cuels I am 16 years old and was born in Trinidad Tobago but now live in Shashamane Ethiopia and have four brothers and two sisters. When I came to Ethiopia I was five years old, it has been hard growing up here and difficult for me to speak in Amharic but now I speak Amharic fluently.

girl reading

I started playing football at 14 years old for my school and that’s when I saw Ellis Ruben coaching the Forest team. I joined the team and since then its been great, it has changed my life and I have started to take things seriously and met so many good people who have because a big part of my life.

girl with football

My family have supported me a lot so I thank my mum and dad for bringing me into the world. My mother is a housewife and my father is a businessman, my two older brothers are both djs. I am a very polite and friendly person and as a student my favourite subjects are Maths and English as well as Sports.

As Iv mentioned before football has changed my life and being active has made me a much healthier and stronger person so I thank God for what he has done for me. From an early age I joined the twelve tribes of Israel, as time went by I became sister Naphtali the first. My mum is also Judah the first and my father use to be brother Naphtali the first so that’s how I because Naphtali the first.

Signs and family

My parents now own the biggest sound system company, which makes a lot of money and that’s how my brothers have been able to become djs. I remember when I went to school for the first time here, it was hard for me as most of the kids that went to school made fun of me but as a girl I have become much tougher as my mother always use to tell me to walk with my head held high.

My father use to ride a motorbike but now he has stopped because the roads are too dangerous. I remember when we first came to Shashamaine we had to rent a house but then my father bought some land and started to build a house. After two months my father finished the house, and we moved in.

Kids bulling

I was so happy to move in because at that time my mother was pregnant with my sister, five years later she had my brother. My older sister Keisha got pregnant at 20 and had a baby boy then three years later my mum and my sister got pregnant again, they both had boys. My brother was named Yacob and my sister’s baby was called Ishmael.

Back then I was really happy and I have grown up around my brothers which is why I am not really a girly girl and more of a tomboy. The way I dress is like a boy the way I walk is like a boy and I remember when I found out coach Ellis had passed away I was very hurt I cried like a baby as I was very sad because he always treated me like his daughter.

I still miss him a lot and will never forget him because he was a really good man ‘RIP brother Ellis Ruben’. After a few months we welcomed his son and daughter who came to visit us in shashamaine. They were very nice and polite and it was amazing for them to come and watch us play football.


I have made mistakes but I have learned from them and sometimes when you fall you have to learn how to get back up. I am a young girl who has learnt a lot in life but I still have so much more to experience. Every year life gets harder and harder the price of food and clothes gets expensive and most of the people suffer but God will always shine his light upon us and show us what’s right from wrong.

Girl in sun

My football team has become my family we are like brothers and sisters but since my coach passed away I stopped playing football for three months. I have recently started playing football again and George our second coach has been coaching us but every time I have training I keep telling my self that this is what Ellis wants us to do so I keep trying my best.

kids playing football

My parents are trying to open a restaurant, which will be opening soon; it will be called ‘The kings High Way’. I am really happy that my parents are doing this to support our family. My football team are preparing for a match and we will always try our best to show how good we are so I personally thank brother Lincon for helping and supporting the Forest football team. So there you have it this is the story of my life. I am praying to do my best for the future- God bless.

the kings high way

Story 2

This is a story of a young man that love football and was born in a place called Shashamane in Ethiopia his name is Feyisa written by Feyisa. Illustration by Niki Rao.


I was born Kuyera hospital in 1988 my father and mother work for the government office I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers I am the oldest child of the children. I’ve been going to school since I was 4 years old I enjoy learning and going to school, I did well at primary school and was promoted to the top class at school because I understand knowledge is the key to a better life.


As I grow older became very interested in football my position was midfielder. When I got to year 8 and 9 I focused very much on my education because I have a vision a dream that if I do well, so I can support my family in the future; this would be one of my life’s achievements helping my family.


One of the worst experiences I have ever had is when I was in grade 10; I became very ill for three month’s, which made my education suffer a lot because I became weak and unable study hard. I prayed to God that the medicine would help me recover.

85% correct. After getting amazing news I moved on to higher level of schooling.


Now my grades are up I can spend more time practising football, having fun with my friends. Realising how good at football I joined a team Forest F.C. I am one of the strongest players in the team, which makes my family very proud.

When I finally started to feel myself again, after been in bed for months. The very same day I went back to school I had a very important exam, I was very worried that I would fail my exam and not have a good grade but by the grace of God I got better.

My coach, my adviser and my football father Ruben Ellis was’ a great man who came and helped a lot of young people in Ethiopia. Ruben taught education, hygiene and football.


A lot of my friends were quiet selfish people so I knew I had to stop hanging out with them because they were bad influences. I decided to continue to study hard to get the best grades as I could. Thanks to Ruben Ellis and good friends and family. I finally got accepted into a good university.


While I was studying in University I received terrible news telling me that Ruben Ellis had fallen sick over night and pass away the next day. This made my really sad because he was an inspiration to me and to many of us in the village. I Loved and respected him though I never would of believed that God would take him from us to lay him to rest so soon in his life.


Ruben’s death did affect me in many ways, but I know that he would be proud of me knowing that I have come this far studying on my own at Wolaba University.

In my University I found it hard to make friends because was so young and looked like a baby; people didn’t take me seriously.

The first 2 year of me been at university was very hard but I passed with very high grades. I hope to graduate 3rd year this will make everybody proud in my village.

I passed


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