The renowned South African storyteller and prolific children books writer, Dynana Kukuma has been mesmerizing school children in Gaborone with her fascinating folklore tales lately.
The talented Kukuma who exudes passion for the old Africa custom of story telling was billed to perform in schools in Francistown on Thursday where she was expected to captivate young children with her intriguing stories of the jungle.
“From time to time I come to Botswana and I visit schools to tell stories. This time around I will be visiting Francistown and Maun wants me as well,” Kukama who normally has her young audience swooning and hanging onto her every word said in a recent interview in Gaborone.
She revealed that she has divided her shows into two categories, nursery and Primary schools.
“The one for nursery schools is called Gugushe while the one for Primary schools is dubbed Mmasonoko. Most of the shows will continue next year,” Kukuma stated.
The medium of story telling was used in the past in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values. In African culture most of the stories that are passed on are told through oral means and were passed from one generation to the next and the creativity and the strong morals of the stories is what Kukama wants to keep alive today.
“For me story telling is a mission. So vast was the creativity that it is amazing. Folklore was mostly oral. The stories were not documented until recently. It shows that our people were very intelligent,” Kukama added.
She says because story telling is seemingly an African heritage, it is important that it is appreciated.
“I love being African, I love my African nose, I love everything about Africa and I cannot allow folklore to disappear from the surface of this continent,” Kukama further stated.
The Author of African folklore books who is planning to start her own publishing house soon is saddened by the seemingly reluctance of today’s parents to tell their children stories.
“We hardly tell stories to our children. We have allowed modernity to cloud the folklore. Of course I do believe that people do enjoy today’s stories. People watch soapies, but is it what we want our children to aspire to be?” She asked rhetorically.
However in her battle to bring the tales to the lounges of many African families, Kukuma is now moving into filmmaking and is now working on her first folktale documentary.