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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Find out more about influential isiZulu author Nakanjani G Sibiya, editor of Amagalelo

AmagaleloNakanjani G Sibiya is the author and editor of a number of isiZulu books across various genres.

He has published five volumes of short stories, four dramas and is the editor or co-author of seven anthologies of short stories.

Sibiya’s debut collection of short stories, Ikusasa Eliqhakazile, won the JL Dube Award for Prose, and in 2003 he was awarded the M-Net Book Prize for his debut novel Kuxolelwa Abanjani?

In 2004 Kuxolelwa Abanjani? also received the BW Vilakazi Prize, the most prestigious award for isiZulu literature.

Sibiya holds a PhD from the University of Zululand and works as an editor and lecturer. His most recent book is Amagalelo.

Manie Groenewald’s article “Theme, plot and narration in the novels of NG Sibiya”, published in the South African Journal of African Languages, examines Sibiya’s impact on isiZulu literature:

Nakanjani G Sibiya has made a considerable contribution to isiZulu literature. In this article his two novels, Kuxolelwa abanjani? and Bengithi lizokuna, which can be typified as moral stories, are analysed according to selected aspects of narratology. The moral story seeks to expose immoral deeds and to show that these deeds have dire consequences for individuals, families and the community. Although Sibiya creates multiple story lines – this is especially true of Kuxolelwa abanjani? – he manages to link them in order to unify the story. The author’s use of analepses (‘flashbacks’) and postponement of the answer avoid monotonous chronological narration and serve to complete the story. While ironic situations and coincidences are meant to emphasise the consequences of immoral deeds, they too add interest to the reading experience. The author also employs various narrative techniques to enhance the reading experience. Although instances of unreliability occur in the two novels, Sibiya has enriched isiZulu literature with these two novels; this is mainly due to his ability to write narrative prose that captivates the reader. He has also captivated the reader with the novel topic of homosexuality and transsexuality in Bengithi lizokuna.

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“Moaning is One of the Most Boring Art Forms”: Gcina Mhlophe Recommends Sharing Stories Instead

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of AfricaHave You Seen Zandile?
Love ChildOur Story MagicHi Zoleka!Haai Zoleka!

Gcina Mhlophe, actress and storyteller, was recently featured on Thabiso Sikwane’s lunchtime radio show on Power FM to speak about the new Oral History Museum, which is opening in Durban.

The Oral History Museum, which also goes by the Story House, has been a dream of Mhlophe’s for a long time. Transferring knowledge to younger generations is an important means of culture.

Before discussing the museum, Sikwane and Mhlophe speak about the Fees Must Fall movement. Mhlophe’s emphasises the importance of education, saying “I’m right behind you, babies”.

Just as the student movements this year have allowed young people to make themselves heard, the Story House is a space for South Africans to tell their stories. For Mhlophe, this has been a long time coming: “It’s been 20 years of wishing and longing and praying for an oral history museum to be opened in this country, where ordinary South Africans can tell their stories.”

Mhlophe hopes that people will take this opportunity to tell their stories instead of complaining what a poor job the rest of the world is doing representing them. “Let’s just do it,” she says “moaning is one of the most boring art forms”.

Listen to the podcast:


Related Stories:

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Good Stories and Great Dreams: Gcina Mhlophe Describes Her Hopes for Young South Africans (Video)

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of AfricaHave You Seen Zandile?
Love ChildOur Story MagicHi Zoleka!Haai Zoleka!

Gcina Mhlophe, actress and storyteller, was recently interviewed by Jennifer Sanasie for News 24.

Mhlophe, who had just given a talk to a group of young people, told Sanasie about how “honoured and humbled” she is to hear about how her work has affected and inspired her audience, and says she is “so excited to see and hear what young people are doing in South Africa today”.

She goes on to speak about the importance of young people being allowed to express their dreams, disappointments and good stories.

Watch the video:

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Gcina Mhlophe’s 57th Birthday Celebrated with Friends and Fans (Video)

Haai Zoleka!Hi Zoleka!Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika
Have You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story Magic

Gcina Mhlophe recently celebrated her 57th birthday at an event hosted by Newtown Junction.

Friends shared birthday messages, and many people who have been inspired and entertained by the beloved storyteller joined in to wish her well.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka complimented her as a “good-hearted person”, and said she didn’t know her own age. Poets Zaide Hearnecker and Natalia Molebatsi added their well-wishes, as did a host of musicians with whom Mhlope has worked.

Watch the video of personal birthday messages for Mhlophe:

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The celebration included photo opportunities, the chance to write a birthday message, and plenty of singing by Mhlophe and others.

Watch the video:

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Image courtesy of Motivation Speakers Bookings

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Don’t Miss World Religions in Concert Featuring Gcina Mhlophe in Durban

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of Africa
Have You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story Magic

Gcina Mhlophe, storyteller and author, will be part of World Religions in Concert, taking place at the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban on Monday, 9 November, at 6:30 for 7 PM.

The concert is a celebration of Durban’s vibrant and diverse interfaith community. It commemorates the centenary of the birth of Denis Hurley, who served as bishop and archbishop of Durban between 1947 to 1992.

Artslink has published more details about the event:

The concert has been thoughtfully created to commemorate Hurley’s legacy, to celebrate the opening of the DHC and to demonstrate the role of the faith communities in working together on this project. The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, which has graciously supported this project, will be conducted by Naum Rousine. They will be joined by the Clermont Community and Emmanuel Cathedral Choirs and noted performers including a Buddhist drumming group from Johannesburg; storyteller Gcina Mhlophe and her daughter Kwezi Becker; acclaimed opera singers Linda Bukhosini and Bongani Tembe; violinist and KZNPOs concert master, Joanna Frankel and opera singer Raphael Vilakazi. They will be joined by children of the six different faith groups represented in this event. (African Traditional, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim).

The concert begins as the sun sets with the traditional sunset call to prayer from the neighbouring Juma Mosque; with a response from the church bells; followed by Buddhist and Zulu drums and orchestral pieces of Jewish and Hindu music; Muslim chanting and Christian and African choral pieces will all combine to show the richness of Durban’s musical and religious heritage.

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Gcina Mhlophe Inspires Creative Writing Students (Plus: Watch Mhlophe Perform at Poetry Africa)

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaHave You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story MagicStories of AfricaSongs and Stories of Africa

Legendary storyteller, poet and activist Gcina Mhlophe visited the Durban University of Technology last month where she shared pearls of writing wisdom at the 3rd Writing Competition organised by the DUT Writing Centre.

Mhlophe, who facilitated a workshop with the finalists and was the guest speaker at the awards ceremony, spoke about the importance of writing in your mother tongue.

Read the article:

The prominent Mhlophe told the attendees that, “when they write they write in their mother tongue languages”. “Each and every time as a writer you must use the language you are good at, do not try to write in the language that you are not comfortable with. People must write about something they know well and something that they have experienced,” Mhlophe said.

Siphesihle Mthethwa who is an aspiring poet and DUT student said, “To be in the same room as she (Mhlophe) is a privilege. I am inspired by all her writings and the way she does her thing, it is a wonderful experience to meet her today.”

The 19th Poetry Africa Festival started today, with an exciting line-up of local and international poets.

Vanguard shared a video from 2010 when Mhlophe performed at the 14th Poetry Africa Festival. “Let’s play with an old poem … the weather outside calls for it,” Mhlophe says, before reading “Sometimes When it Rains”.

Watch the video:

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Listen to an Interview with Gcina Mhlophe – Writer, Storyteller and Cultural Ambassador

Gcina Mhlophe was a guest on The Forum@eight on SAfm recently where she spoke about the thing she loves most – storytelling.

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaHave You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story MagicStories of AfricaSongs and Stories of Africa

Who is Gcina Mhlophe? “I’m a writer, I’m a storyteller and I see myself as a cultural ambassador wherever I travel. I’ve been travelling the world for 33 years, everywhere I go I try to represent my country or my continent in fact.”

In the podcast, Mhlophe muses on the meaning of Heritage Month and Heritage Day: “Heritage Day for me means that we must celebrate our history, where we come from, celebrate those who came before us. We celebrate what we remember so that we pass it on to future generations. It means that we not only look at dressing up in African attire one a year – we should do it as many times as possible and feel good in our skin.

“It means that we must wake up the pride in each and every one of us as citizens of this wonderful continent, the place of beginnings.

“We need to get back to celebrating who we are,” she says. “What on earth is Braai Day? If you want to braai go ahead and braai then. We want to celebrate our culture.”

Listen to the podcast for Mhlophe’s account of how she started telling stories in 1991:

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“Tell an Old Tale” – The 2015 Nozincwadi Festival Kicks off in KwaZulu-Natal with Gcina Mhlophe

The 2015 Nozincwadi Festival kicked off today at the Diakonia Centre in Durban and will run until Wednesday, 9 September. The theme of this year’s festival is “Tell an Old Tale” and is aimed at instilling a sense of pride in our history and heritage.

Nozincwadi was conceived in 2001 by the champion of literacy in South Africa, founder of the GAHT and renowned storyteller and author, Dr Gcina Mhlophe.

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaHave You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story MagicStories of AfricaSongs and Stories of Africa

10 primary schools and 12 high schools from around KwaZulu-Natal were invited to participate in the main event on the first day of the festival, while on Wednesday the Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust (GAHT) will join the Emandeni Library near Stanger in their celebration of International Literacy Day. The schools in attendance will each receive a book box containing books in English, Afrikaans and their mother tongue.

Nozincwadi aims to show people the joy of reading and to bring books to communities that cannot afford their own.

“In today’s world, literacy and reading are keys that open the doors to the global village,” Mhlophe says. “We say this is the age of computers, but sophisticated computers and all sorts of modern forms of media are useless to a country that does not invest in the literacy of its people.”

“This is why I dedicate my creativity and time to make a difference in the lives of rural people, particularly children whose situation might seem hopeless.”

Read the press release:


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The 2015 Nozincwadi Festival will run on Tuesday September 8 at Durban’s Diakonia Centre and on Wednesday at Emandeni Community Library near Stanger.

The festival is presented by The Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust under the auspices of its founding member and Executive Director, South Africa’s internationally renowned story-teller and best-selling author, Dr Gcina Mhlophe.

The main event will be held on Tuesday 8 September at Durban’s Diakonia Centre. The second event which Gcinamasiko will participate in to celebrate its annual schools festival as well as International Literacy Day, will be on Wednesday 9 September at Emandeni Community Library near Stanger.

Celebrating International Literacy Day, the upcoming festival has a history-telling theme entitled “Tell an Old Tale”. This aims at encouraging young South Africans to honour our history, instilling a sense of pride in our heritage while renewing the traditional spirit of valuing our elders.

Following the adage, “For a branch to bear fruit, it must honour its roots”, the festival’s theme is in line with planning that is underway for the opening next year of The Dr Gcina Mhlophe Memory House. This ground-breaking oral history museum will be launched early in 2016. To this end, all projects which pave the way for the opening Memory House will be themed around oral history, history-telling and pride in our heritage.

The vision of Nozincwadi embraces the concept of young and old people being drawn in as recipients of book packages, which are given away during this ongoing reading road show. Its beneficiaries include children, young adults as well as recently literate adults.

The aims and objectives of Nozincwadi are: to instill in people the pleasure of reading; to revive the art of storytelling; to encourage and promote the role of storytelling in modern society; to endorse the work of South African and African authors; and ultimately to encourage young people to start creating their own stories and their own books, so they can have a say in the future of writing and reading in this country.

A primary thrust of the project remains the distribution of books within communities who otherwise will have no access to books.

“In today’s world, literacy and reading are keys that open the doors to the global village,” affirms Dr Mhlophe. “We say this is the age of computers, but sophisticated computers and all sorts of modern forms of media are useless to a country that does not invest in the literacy of its people.”

“This is why I dedicate my creativity and time to make a difference in the lives of rural people, particularly children whose situation might seem hopeless.”

“I’ve been there, that’s where I come from: reading inspired me to think and dream big. I would like to share this experience with everybody who is feeling despondent with their personal situation right now.”

Nozincwadi was conceived in 2001 as a tribute to reading and writing in South Africa. While the project has travelled to the most remote areas of the country, promoting reading and inspiring future young writers, millions more children need to benefit.

“On a practical level, the Nozincwadi project helps teachers and librarians set up library boxes, and where libraries already exist at schools and community centres, we bring new books. During the course of the project, new schools were targeted every month.”

“We are proud that since its inception in 2001 Nozincwadi is still running. This year we will have more than 15 schools in attendance including Umlazi Junior Primary school, who are fresh from winning three top awards in an inter schools traditional dance competition. These highly talented students have already graced our festival stage for three years and now in 2015 they are back by popular demand! Their dedication and discipline is remarkable. What makes us even prouder is that they are just as committed in the classroom. They know what our slogan ‘Read and Grow’ means,” Mhlophe says.

“We were able to host this festival successfully each year even with financial constraints. This was made possible with support from our partners such as Robin Hood Foundation, Awesome SA, Masizi Kunene Foundation, Biblionef, Puku Publishers and many other sister organisations. In 2015 we are proud to announce that Gcinamasiko has partnered with REDISA who are supporting the event both financially and in-kind.”

This new partnership is reciprocal: since November 2014 Gcina Mhlophe has been a spokesperson and ambassador for the education wing of REDISA, attending events, performing and generally supporting REDISA’s work.

Admission to the Nozincwadi Festival is by invitation. 10 primary schools and 12 high schools from around KwaZulu-Natal will participate in day one at Diakonia Centre. Each school will receive a book box containing books in English, Afrikaans and the mother tongue.

Day two will see GAHT joining forces with the Emandeni Library near Stanger to participate in their celebration of International Literacy Day. Emandeni Library celebrates this special day each year. GAHT attends the event, supporting and partnering with them. There are usually 10 or more schools from Emandeni and surrounds in attendance. Many community members attend including the Chief of that area. GAHT will present the professional storytelling performances.

The programme will also launch the new The Hope Song CD, a celebration of oral history in which Mhlophe is accompanied by the acclaimed jazz maestro and maskandi star, Bheki Khoza.


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Perfect Hlongwane Identifies the Problems of “Writing Back” in K Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams

JoziPerfect Hlongwane, whose debut novel Jozi was launched last year, has written an interesting analysis of sexuality in K Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams.

The Quiet Violence of Dreams was awarded the 2001 Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Literature, and was considered the beginning of a fine career. However, sadly Duiker passed away prematurely on 19 January, 2005.

Hlongwane’s article considers sexuality as a politically charged narrative, influencing ideas of power, choice and agency in general, and – specifically in Duiker’s novel – as a tool to challenge the cultural dominance of heterosexual relationships.

However, one of Hlongwane’s conclusions is that, by elevating homosexuality, Duiker falls into the same hierarchal trap as those he was writing back to.

Put on your thinking cap and read the article:

For this discussion, I intend focusing on The Quiet Violence of Dreams to consider the problematic of how, in “writing back” to the hegemony of heteronormativity, the novel attempts to centre an “othered” sexuality in terms of male homosexuality and frame the recurring questions of identity and acceptance sexuality calls into question. Duiker’s amalgamation of violence into the novel’s exploration of sexuality foregrounds the possibility of viewing sexuality as a means of social domination and negation, and shows how rape is a brutally effective tool for the communication of messages about power and self-worth. The fact that the novel deals so unflinchingly with the subject of rape immediately forces the reader to see sex and sexuality as a conflicted terrain fraught with the dangers and distortions of human malice and imperfection.

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Join Gcina Mhlophe for a Special Women’s Day Performance of My Travelling Bag in Durban

Have You Seen Zandile?Umcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaLove ChildOur Story MagicStories of Africa

Artslink and the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban invite you to a special Woman’s Day performance, “My Travelling Bag” by Gcina Mhlophe.

The show will take the form of a picnic dinner and will take place twice on Monday, 10 August. The first performance will start at 2 PM and the second will start at 6:30 PM. Tickets are available from Computicket and cost R120 per person and R100 for pensioners.

In “My Travelling Bag” Mhlophe will reflect on “33 years of suitcases bought, stamps in her passports, friendships, missed flights, mementos and memories”.

Don’t miss it!

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Press release:

From a very young age I got to travel all over my home province, KwaZulu-Natal. From my hometown Hammarsdale to Port Shepstone, to Dundee, to Nongoma, it all seemed like such faraway places. I thought I was the most widely young person ever. It felt great!

But my beloved grandmother, Gogo, sounded a word of warning: “There is a bigger world out there.” Those were wise words indeed. How very prophetic too. In the past 33 years I have been blessed to travel the length and breadth of this amazing world. The number of suitcases I have bought, the stamps in my passports, amazing friendships. Oh the amazing experiences the countless mementos and memories that fill my head like an enchanted African forest. The amazing theatres, long hours at international airports, delayed flights, the many cultures and frustrating times filled with fear and homesickness.

But nothing can top the joy of sharing the stories of my people on world stages, the magical universality of these stories, proving once and for all that people are more alike than different. In my travelling bag there are all the 33 years of international travelling. But they can only be told and shared, one bowl at a time.


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