Nairobi’s finest storytellers will gather to launch a global online writing contest and recreate a magical day of storytelling on 19th March 2016 at Kwani? in celebration of the World Storytelling Day. They will be joined by writers and artists to recreate a magical day of stories.
The day-long event which starts at 11am and ends at 9pm will include interactive performances; reading nooks; workshops on illustrating, writing and poetry; an art exhibition and auction; a stories booth for the children to record their own stories; books stalls and much more.
Every lover of words is welcome to attend this event, which will be held a day from the actual World Storytelling Day, that is celebrated on March 20th yearly.
This event aims to recapture people’s minds and encourage a culture of sharing tales and wisdom through performance and creating new platforms for African oral literature. It will also be a celebration of women, as this year’s theme for World Storytelling Day is ‘Strong Women’.
The day’s performances will culminate in a riveting stage performance, where five of Nairobi’s most renowned actresses and poets, notably Sitawa Namwalie, Mumbi Kaigwa, Raya Wambui, Patricia Kihoro and Maimouna Jallow, will re-interpret five African novels by women authors for the stage.
Since this is a gathering of online storytellers, Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE )will be participating. They will be holding a Teens Online Safety Training from 2.30pm to 4pm. This training will aim to sensitize the youth on the risks they face while using the internet and the measures to take to counter those risks. It is meant to educate the teens and their parents about the glaring risks of encountering Cyber bullies, internet trolls and even stumbling upon pornographic sites online. This training targets teens from age 15 – 20 and their parents.
At midnight, the Re-imagined Modern Tales website will officially go live, where African writers across the world get to re-imagine the traditional folktale with messages and settings that are relevant to today’s youth – from corruption, to environmental degradation and religious radicalization. Selected works will be published in an Anthology of New Tales and will be performed in schools and communities nation-wide.
The festival is the first in a series of events by Positively African to promote oral storytelling and use the Modern Anthology of Tales to educate and engage both young and old alike on critical issues affecting the continent.
By creating safe spaces that use a traditional art form that is familiar across communities in Africa, stories can help communities not only reclaim the stories of their pasts, but also to heal traumas and re-imagine their futures.