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Nal’ibali launched their third annual Story Bosso contest with Gcina Mhlophe and Marc Lottering

In commemoration of National Literacy Month, Nal’ibali – the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign – is encouraging a wave of storytelling nationwide with their third annual multilingual Story Bosso contest. The contest, which places an emphasis on folktales, was launched on August 31st at the Soweto Theatre and featured a programme which skriks for niks:

Storyteller par excellence, Bongani Madondo, entertained the two groups of school children who attended the launch. Fingers were clicked, hands were clapped, and feet were stamped as the children repeated the catchy phrases uttered (with gusto!) by Bongani.

Gcina Mhlophe, one of the country’s most beloved storytellers, kept the audience enthralled with her passionate, dramatic, and humorous performance of her favourite folktales:

Storytelling goddess Gcina Mhlophe doing what she does best
© Daniel Born


Did you know? By tapping your fingers on your wrist you can recreate the sound of raindrops falling. Ngiyabonga for the fun audience interaction, Gcina!
© Daniel Born


The nation’s future storytellers paying rapt attention to Gogo Gcina…
© Daniel Born


© Daniel Born


The magnificent Ms Mhlophe
© Daniel Born

To help children and adults remember these special stories, Nal’ibali has created a set of storytelling playing cards featuring common folktale characters, settings and objects.

And who better to demonstrate the creative use of one of these cards than one of South Africa’s favourite comedians, Marc Lottering?

And oh-my-’fro, did he have a jol

A storytelling playing card depicting a shaker. (A magic one, at that. It’s magical properties? The ability to transport the lucky person who shakes it to Cape Town. That’s Marc Lottering for you…)
© Daniel Born

Marc’s other card featured two young children; this story ended on a twist! The twist being “…and then he realised it was all a dream.” Hehe ;)
© Daniel Born

Nee, kyk. That’s one riveted audience…
© Daniel Born

Ain’t nothing bothering Mr Lottering!
© Daniel Born

Gcina and Marc even teamed up for a lively rendition of a song consisting of only six words (“Praat / praat u taal met liefde!”) but sjoe, they managed to get the audience to join in:

Gcina and Marc demonstrating how you should praat the taal with liefde
© Daniel Born


Big shout out to photographer Daniel Born who managed to capture this singular day beautifully. From children enjoying the performances, to perusing the books available in their home languages, to admiring the storytelling cards, and – ultimately – having the opportunity to tell their own stories…

All South Africans are invited to submit their entries between 1 and 30 September as audio or video clips online on the campaign’s website (, mobisite (, Facebook page (NalibaliSA), to or via Nal’ibali’s WhatsApp line: 076 920 6413.


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