The stories in this collection come from the oral traditions of the people from Swaziland, Matabeleland (Ndebele people) and Zululand in South Africa. The authors, Mrs. E. J. Bourhill and Mrs. J. B. Drake, or more properly the collectors and editors of the stories assert that: «All the stories in this book are real Fairy Tales, just as much as Jack the Giant-killer or The Sleeping Beauty. By this I mean that they are traditional, handed down by word of mouth. Nobody knows how old they are, or who told them first.» The stories are full of witches and magicians and monsters, as well as heroes and princesses and good and bad rulers.
They have done a marvellous job of putting these stories into English but admit that there is much lost in the translation and in not being able to see the storyteller who would not only tell the story but act it out while doing so. Mrs. Bourhill and Mrs. Drake were concerned that, as the way of life and the customs of the people were slowly changing, these wonderful traditional stories might fade away. They thus decided to write them down for posterity. — Summary by Noel Badrian