STORIES ARE OUR LEGACY

SOUTH Africa's premier storytelling celebration is due to be held at museums in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Polokwane and Durban this month and next. This hot on the heels of International Museums Day on May 18.

SOUTH Africa's premier storytelling celebration is due to be held at museums in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Polokwane and Durban this month and next. This hot on the heels of International Museums Day on May 18.

The activities of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund-backed Kwesukela Storytelling Academy, Storytelling Project and Storytelling Festival will bring creative noises into museums from June 11 to July 11.

Among the star storytellers at Museum Africa in Newtown in Johannesburg, the Irish Museum in Polokwane, Local History Museum in Durban and Freedom Park in Pretoria, are Nomsa Mdlalose, Masoja Msiza and Gcina Mhlophe.

They will fill the museums with musical and rhythmic sounds and usher in a revival of storytelling, an old African art form. They will also celebrate the myths and legends of the past and foster a unique inter-cultural communication tool.

Come enjoy 30 new African and South African stories, encompassing African soccer, its heroes and heroines, myths and legends and other quirks about the game under the theme: When People Forget, Story Remembers.

Two related children's storytelling festivals will take place at Ubuntu Kraal in Soweto and on Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg between June 30 and July 4.

Sowetan is media, publicity and nation-building partner of the Kwesukela Storytelling Festivals for the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.

Sipho Masombuka writes: Tshwane had celebrated International Museums Day in a unique manner when the city's sport, recreation, arts and culture department allowed the public free entry to the Pretoria Art Museum, Melrose House Museum and the Fort Klapperkop Heritage Site under the theme: Museums for Social Harmony.

Museums are rapidly becoming dynamic, virtual classrooms with tours - especially for young students.

They help bring the past back, pumping valuable information, imbuing visitors with insight and providing them with an effective way of learning, and teaching.

Museums help provide visitors with a platform to form their own unique opinions from the visual, tactile and informative experiences that help to unleash the imagination.

South Africa's rich social and cultural history is contained in more than 300 museums. These range from elegant 18th century homes to caves in majestic mountain ranges, cultural villages in rural settings to sophisticated buildings in major cities, apartheid-era mementoes, artefacts and information to commemorating heroes and icons of the liberation struggles.

One way of ensuring that these are not rendered redundant, events like the activities of the Kwesukela storytelling Academy, Storytelling Project and Storytelling Festival need to be hosted regularly at these venues.

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