We are working with an amazing group of woman with J29 in a fast growing township on the outskirts of Alberton, Gauteng. The focus of yesterday’s session was on stories from our ancestors. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was the youngest participants who jumped in to tell stories first. We all sat in a circle listening and sharing the stories of our past. My translator Thandeka was so enthralled she kept forgetting to translate. Despite not being able to understand I was mesmerized by each storyteller and the passion and energy with which the stories were told. After our session we asked that the guardians go home and share these stories with their children.
When they reflected back to us today, it was clear that the simple act of telling a story was already beginning to draw these families closer together. Paulina who had not shared any stories the day before wanted to take this opportunity to do so. She began rummaging through her bag looking for something. I glanced over at Sbo a little confused. Paulina found the folded up piece of paper she was searching for and opened it up to reveal several colourful drawings. She went on to explain that when she got home yesterday she could not simply tell her story but had to draw pictures for the children. She sent them off to play while she prepared and then called them in again. She said they all loved the story and were laughing at the Zim Zim’s unfortunate tale. She then began her story, “Kwasuka Sukela”. She stepped into the middle of the circle and told her story adding action and taking on the characters. Everyone was laughing at her captivating performance while passing around the drawings. It was pure magic.
– Nadia Woodward
05 November 2012
Many thanks to Europcar for sponsoring our travel!