Storytelling festival to feature international artists

Maimouna Jallow at first edition of Re-Imagined Storytelling Festival. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU | NMG

Saturday’s Second edition of the Re-Imagined Storytelling Festival is going to be an important all-day event at Alliance Francaise that nobody keen on theatre, storytelling, orature or literature of any kind should miss.

Maimouna Jallow, founder of Positively Africa has brought together storytellers from all over the world to join with her in a delightful programme of storytelling, interactive workshops, panels, art auction and even a music jam towards the end of the day.

Three major highpoints of the festival will be first, a book launch of Story, Story, Story Come, which is hot off the press and edited by Maimouna herself. The 12-story anthology is the fruition of her two-year effort to enlist members of her Pan-African network to re-imagine traditional African folktales as a means of reviving interest in African orature (oral literature) and nurturing a contemporary reading culture.

The book contains enchanting stories by creative writers and storytellers from Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan and Zambia. It’s beautifully illustrated by Olusayo Ajentunmobi

The second highlight of the day will be the premiere performance of The Door of (No) Return, an adaptation of some of the stories in book presented in partnership with ZamaleoAct. And the other glorious feature of the festival is Maimouna’s managing to bring storytellers from Morocco, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Australia and Kenya together for not just a day-full but a week-full of their sharing their art, both on Saturday and throughout this week. They performed everywhere from Mathare and Eastleigh to Buruburu for school children.

This Friday, they will be giving master classes at Alliance Francaise, but one needed to sign up for them in advance.

If anyone doubts that storytelling is an inspiring theatrical form which has an age-old history based right here in Africa, then come to the event to get a taste of what it is all about.

Meanwhile, at Louis Leakey auditorium at Nairobi National Museum, Kenyatta University students will be staging an original play by Tony Sesat entitled Reverberations. Directed by Fanuel Mulwa who performed in Sarafina as Crocodile and Jesus Christ Superstar as the Apostle Peter, Reverberations is all about a corrupt churchman whose infidelity leads to tragic consequences as the man’s two sons are deeply affected and infected by their father’s poor parenting.

Sadly the story resonates in the Kenya of today. The show runs from tonight through Sunday.

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