storytelling on cards for World cup

STORYTELLING has been part of the African experience for many centuries.

STORYTELLING has been part of the African experience for many centuries.

This is why I breathed a sigh of relief this week when I learnt that there would be storytelling amid the soccer craziness.

I mean, if we Africans say storytelling is a tradition we are proud of, we should clearly share this art form with the rest of the world that will descend on us soon for the World Cup.

A collective called the Kwesukkela 2010 Storytelling Project will unveil their programme today and one is looking forward to experiencing it.

Storytelling is an art that has been kept alive by just a few figures in this country.

People such as Nomsa Mdlalose and Gcina Mhlophe have been hoisting the flag for many years, and have been given many accolades and degrees for their efforts to formalise this art form and take it beyond our borders.

These sisters have done well so far, but it is time for new emerging voices to come forward and add to the richness of storytelling. One hopes that when this collective unveils their 2010 programme we will, besides the veterans, hear some new names.

With financial support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), the art form that has passed history down orally from generation to generation, since time in memorial, will take centre stage during this Fifa World Cup.

The Kwesukkela Storytelling Academy (KSA), funded by the NLDTF, will host The Kwesukkela 2010 Storytelling Projects from June 11 to July 11 2010. KSA is the brainchild of founder and head of the institute Mdlalose.

It was founded in 2005 with a view to setting up the first dedicated higher learning institute for storytelling. The KSA will also be the first recognised storytelling research institute in South Africa.

KSA founder Mdlalose said: "Since South Africa is hosting what is essentially an African World Cup, we felt it timely to curate a storytelling programme that features leading and emerging storytellers from our country and other parts of the Africa."

Seasoned storyteller and TV actor Masoja Msiza is among those expected to perform.