BULAWAYO – Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo will begin a two-day workshop on December 5 targeting more than 30 local teachers in order to resuscitate the art of storytelling in the country.
The workshop to be held at The Samaritans in Bulawayo will be facilitated by seasoned artistes such as Pathisa Nyathi, Cont Mhlanga, Naison Tfwala, Cletus Moyo and Nelson Mapako.
The two-day event is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) under a project titled Preserving and Safeguarding Zimbabwean Folklore and The Art of Storytelling.
Raisedon Baya, the Intwasa director told the Daily News that one of the key objectives of the workshop is to document and transmit folktales collected from communities so as to recognise and celebrate the art of storytelling.
“The workshop is premised on the fact that folktales are an integral part of orature and a people’s living traditions.
“For centuries folklore has been used as a reliable method of educating children and youths and introducing them to the basic principles within society,” Baya said.
“Folktales have always been part and parcel of African culture.
“They form part of our intangible cultural heritage. For illiterate communities folktales become a form of communication, education and a form of socialising children and young people,” he said.
The Intwasa director added that while the arts and culture sector in Zimbabwe has been generally developing, the art of storytelling and, in particular, the telling of folktales is on the verge of disappearing completely.
Baya bemoaned the extinction of this form of art which he said very few young people nowadays know.
“This art form has been fighting a losing battle with more established, more popular, and commercially viable art genres like music, film, theatre and other forms of entertainment now available to children and young people.”
As part of the Preserving and Safeguarding Zimbabwean Folklore and The Art of Storytelling project Baya said Intwasa will be compiling a short anthology of folklore from different communities.
The anthology is expected to be launched in early 2014.