The overwhelming response to the edutainment storytelling by Africa’s legendary narrator Gcina Mhlope will see five more stories to keep children entertained – this time with video accompanying the audio.
With the first batch of stories, Mhlope kept children – and even adults – rivetted for 10 days with a daily five-minute online story.
Private higher education MANCOSA’s School of Education has again partnered with the Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust to get Mhlope, the world-renowned actress, playwright, storyteller and author, to keep children captivated with her iconic voice and knack of storytelling.
The video recordings of the second batch of five stories will be available on MANCOSA’s website (www.mancosa.co.za) from 09 June. The stories will also be available on MANCOSA’S social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Martha Moyo, MANCOSA Director, said keeping children occupied during the lockdown could prove quite a challenge. She said with the delay in the reopening of schools, many children who were feeling the impact of the current global catastrophe needed a digital diet that was both light-hearted and uplifting.
“Also, the response from children and parents to the first series of stories showed there was great enthusiasm for Gcina Mhlope’s spirited and energetic style of storytelling.
“As part of our humanitarian activities aimed at giving back to communities during the pandemic, we decided to focus on children by keeping them entertained with stories, even if only for a few minutes,” Moyo said, adding MANCOSA was fortunate to secure award-winning Mhlope as a narrator.
Mhlope said she had chosen stories with an African theme and would deliberately expose children to a wide vocabulary and provide them with verbal and mental stimuli – something they would be missing since the closing of schools.
“I have specifically chosen stories with the theme of compassion, care and love – these are the qualities that we need most while the whole world is battling the severe coronavirus crisis,” said Mhlophe.
One of the stories “The Elders at the Door” by Maryanne Bester tells of three elders who approach a house early one morning. The family invites them to enter, eat and keep warm. The elders answer that they never enter together; the family must choose which of them to invite inside. Their names are Blessings, Wisdom and Love. The family discusses who should get invited inside. The eldest wants blessing, the middle child wants wisdom and finally the littlest says simply, “Love, Love, Love.” A wonderful lesson is learnt as the elders say: “Ah, now that you have chosen love, we will all come in, because wherever there is love there will also be blessing and wisdom.”
The storytelling endeavour by MANCOSA also finds connection with its founder Professor Yusuf Karodia’s belief that reading is an essential ingredient for children to improve their literacy, further their education and to brighten their future.
Through the Yusuf Karodia Foundation, he has launched the “Million Books Project” which aims to provide more than a million books to school children across South Africa through mobile libraries.