stories abound at festival

A GREAT creative arts experiment and poignant cultural expression that is likely to be as explosive as the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup is coming to an end.

A GREAT creative arts experiment and poignant cultural expression that is likely to be as explosive as the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup is coming to an end.

Through the inaugural Kwesukela Storytelling Festival, South Africa had a superb vehicle to market and promote our oldest communication tradition and storytelling to the world, thanks to the pioneering foresight of master narrator Nomsa Mdlalose.

Mdlalose harnessed the talents of fellow professionals, including Gcina Mhlophe and Masoja Msiza and 24 emerging artists.

Her intention was to tell 30 new African and South African stories encompassing African soccer and its achievers and soccer's myths, legends and quirks; all these under the theme When People Forget, Story Remembers.

These storytelling sessions were held at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg; the Irish Museum in Polokwane, the Durban Local History Museum in KwaZulu-Natal and the Freedom Park in Pretoria. These took place from June 11 until July 11.

Another highlight of this youth and community development project of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund-backed project and Storytelling Festival was the two related children's storytelling events, which were held at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown on June 30 and at the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown in Soweto this week.

Catering for children between the ages of three and 16, the children's storytelling festivals also featured workshops on beat-boxing, graffiti writing, tattooing, drumming, marimba playing and lots of fun and games and also interacting with clowns and stilt-walkers.

Mdlalose, who holds a masters degree in storytelling and is studying towards a PhD in storytelling and folklore, is on a mission to make storytelling a fashionable learning and teaching and general communication tool in the family, in the classrooms and in ordinary life situations. Her Kwesukela Storytelling Academy is nurturing aspirant storytelling enthusiasts.

Mdlalose's Kwesukela Storytelling Festivals also seek to make storytelling a viable entertainment and nation-building entity.

Sowetan is Kwesukela's media and publicity partner, while Kwesukela has been "adopted" as a part of the newspaper's Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation's youth and community development activities. - Victor Mecoamere

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