The coronavirus has irrevocably changed how we live our lives. From baby showers to get togethers, the global pandemic has reduced our social life to streaming events revealing the unique nature of this crisis which has forced people indoors and feeling lonely. To beat the stress of keeping children entertained and engaged, National Book Week has been bringing some of South Africa’s best-known authors and storytellers to Facebook for live storytelling events.
Saturday’s episode of Books Beyond Words will feature Madoda Ndlakuse, Mdantsane-born, Port Elizabeth-bred storyteller, poet, writer, literacy promotion and reading activist. Ndlakuse is passionate about reading for enjoyment and spends a lot of time helping community members, particularly children, to learn from their own stories.
He will present two of his own stories. ‘A day with Onez’ is a true story about his daughter’s early childhood experience and isiXhosa story ‘Ndiziva Ndixhaphazekile’ (I feel bullied), a folktale about a cow who was bullied in school and how things turned out.
“When the lockdown came, like many parents, I was watching everything we take for granted suddenly being whisked away – the parks, movies, friends, schools and more. Stepping out was frowned upon and weekends were very long with nothing to do,” says Ndlakuse.
“I was only too happy to participate when NBW proposed the idea of online storytelling, where it invites authors, raconteurs and even puppeteers. Since connecting in person is not possible right now, we know that the need to connect through sharing stories is stronger than ever. Storytelling is a notable part of African family life.”
The weekly event hosted by South Africa’s annual reading awareness week, National Book Week (NBW), dedicated to encouraging leisure reading and promoting the importance of books, has been inviting storytellers every weekend since the lockdown began in March for a live event to tell children an interesting story, including from their own books.
NBW is a joint initiative of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) and The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.
“Let’s face it, during the week the children are grappling with schoolwork, listening to parent’s Zoom conversations which at times are stressful, getting mixed messages from friends on the pandemic, all this with little to no downtime with parents whom they see 24/7. Staying at home has been chaotic especially for children with no friends to banter with or play. If there was ever a time that parents needed a little help to entertain their kids, it’s now,”” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO, South African Book Development Council.
“What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok, and what better than stories that speak of hope, happiness and happily ever after.”
Join us on Saturday 06 June 2020 at 11:00am on NBW’s Facebook page for another riveting weekend of stories.
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