Books Beyond Words, the weekly online storytelling event hosted by South Africa’s annual reading awareness week, National Book Week (NBW) is bringing an all-women line up of storytellers this weekend in the spirit of Women’s Day. Living treasure Naledzani Netshirembe and the infectiously exuberant Malefu Mahloane will grace the stage to claim a woman’s place as the keeper of society’s history on behalf of all storytellers.
NBW is a joint initiative of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the South African Book Development Council (SABDC). The Cape Town based SABDC, the representative body of the South African book sector, is an all women outfit, one of the handful organisations in the world that is managed and run by women.
“To all our women viewers, who are daughters, granddaughters, wives, mothers, partners and friends, a Happy Women’s Day. Many of you have been your family’s anchor during this pandemic, fighting to keep them and your community healthy. Your contributions in large and small ways are the stories we will recount when we speak about the unprecedented times we are living through, to the new generation,” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO, SABDC.
The tradition of storytelling on the continent is one of the most ancient in the African culture and a way of passing on customs and beliefs. Before writing was developed, stories were the only way to transmit values and morals. The continent is rooted in oral cultures and traditions; therefore, its people have always admired good stories and storytellers.
But do you know where stories come from?
Join us once again on Saturday 08 August 2020 at 11:00am on NBW’s Facebook page and we will tell you where stories come from.
Malefu will bring an IsiZulu and English tale that tells the genesis of stories. The story is about a woman who was told by her husband to go on a search for stories to tell their children in the village. After asking every creature possible, the woman eventually came across a sea turtle that took her to the Land of the Spirit People who gave her the gift of stories.
Living treasure Naledzani Netshirembe will narrate a Tshivenda story Muthannga a hangwa (A boy who was forgetful).
“I welcome you to celebrate this Women’s Day with our storytellers, who not only educated and entertained families through the pandemic, but who also play an inspirational role in the communities they come from. Let’s also not forget the women leaders who are making stories around the world from Germany to New Zealand and Denmark to Iceland, women who have shown exceptional leadership in fighting the scourge of the coronavirus.” adds van der Sandt in conclusion.
“The world didn’t need a pandemic to realise that women are central to positive stories and make great storytellers too.”