Storytelling festival at the University of Johannesburg (UJ)


Joint Media Release
Monday, 04 February 2013
Storytelling festival at the University of Johannesburg (UJ)
22-23 February 2013

The Faculty of Education of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust will host a Storytelling Festival at the UJ Soweto Campus. This event themed ‘Love in your language’ aims to encourage reading and an appreciation of literature for learners in both primary and high school. It also presents South African youth with a platform to share their talents related to storytelling, song and dance, poetry/coral verse recital and stage production.

Included in the programme is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, UJ, Professor Sarah Gravett and the Director of the Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust, Dr Gcina Mhlophe who will read stories to the audience using a variety of South African languages.

According to Prof Gravett, reading and storytelling lays the foundation for all further cognitive development in young children. “Reading and storytelling are very important ways of activating and initiating the development of more complex thinking and linguistic literacy, which can prove crucial to the years of schooling,” she says. “Reading and storytelling are used as tools to stimulate language development the better, since we never exist without language; we use it all the time.”

Dr Gcina Mhlophe says that the Nozincwadi Stotytelling and Book Celebration Festival has been running in Durban since 2008. “It has grown bigger every year reaching a wider audience annually. Both schools and the general public have requested that we keep them informed of all our activities. One of my greatest joys at these festivals is to witness young talent shining on our stages! And to see the ancient art of storytelling taking its rightful place in the hearts and minds of South Africans, young and old! This year we are honouring our mother tongues with great pride. Sign languages, brail and other forms of communication are to be celebrated.”

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