Within our world, there are certain themes that seem to resurface, time and time again. One such theme is linked closely with the story line of fairy tales--Cinderella in particular. The story of Cinderella is a timeless tale including elements of magic, misfortune, love, and the universal struggle of good versus evil. This story line deals with universal issues and is found in many variations around the world. Some of these countries and cultures include Vietnam, China, Korea, the Philippines, India, Egypt, England, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, several Native American nations, Appalachia, the American South, and France (origin of the Cinderella story with which many Americans are most familiar).
The tale of Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is an African Cinderella story, originating from the country of Zimbabwe (located in the mid-southern region of the continent). This story includes many elements which link it to the basic themes found within the French version of this fairy tale (such as the presence of an evil sister and magical character, a marriage to royalty, and good overcoming evil). However, this story is unique in many ways and reflects the African culture from which it comes through the use of its illustrations (hairstyles, clothing, etc.), the lifestyle of the characters, and the governmental authority figure of the past (king).