Batman has Robin and Tarzan had Jane. All heroes have sidekicks, right? Without sidekicks, a hero’s story is incomplete. But how often do we get to hear the story from the sidekick’s point of view?
Sidekicks are just like footnotes or a glossary in a book. They can help to give extra information to make the story interesting. We often overlook the sidekick until they’re absolutely necessary. This works well in a fairytale, legend, or folktale that is more of a fictional, fun story. This doesn't work so well with factual stories and historical tales.
Sometimes history treats certain cultures or groups of people as footnotes or sidekicks. Pocahontas becomes a sidekick to Captain John Smit. The contributions of Japanese-Americans soldiers during World War II became footnotes to the Tuskegee Airmen who are footnotes to generals like Douglas MacArthur.
In today’s story Atumpan Edutainment tells the history of the first emperor of Mali’, West Africa’s greatest empire, without creating footnotes or sidekicks out of other cultures. The hero is just the hero in this tale.