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PUKU

Children's Literature in Southern Africa

Story Festivals

To keep our languages alive for the next generation, we must share them and celebrate them!

enter image description hereThe Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, the National Arts Festival, the Rhodes University African Language Studies Section and the NRF SARChI Chair in the Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education in the School of Languages are proud to host the first-ever Puku Story Festival focusing on children’s content in isiXhosa. The Festival will bring together storytelling, song, dance and books in a joyous celebration, hence the theme of the festival – amabali aluncuthu!

Iilwimi zethu kufanele ukuba sabelane ngazo, sizonwabele ukuze zihlale zikho nakwisizukukwana esizayo! La maziko alandelayo ayazingca ngokuba asingathe, okokuqala ngqa, ifestivali yoncwadi lwabantwana, iPuku Story Festival: iPuku Children’s Literature Foundation, iNational Arts Foundation, iCandelo leeLwimi zesiNtu neNRF SARChI Chair ejongene nophuhliso lweelwimi zesiNtu kwiSikolo seeLwimi eYunivesithi iRhodes. Le festivali ijonge ikakhulu ukubonisa lonke uhlobo loncwadi lwabantwana, ngesiXhosa. Kuya kube kubhiyozwa, kubaliswa iintsomi, kuvunywa iingoma, kuxhentswa, kufundwa iincwadi, konke oku kusenziwa ngolonwabo olukhulu! Yiyo loo nto umxholo wayo le festivali usithi – amabali aluncuthu!

The Puku Story Festival - Amabali aluncuthu will take place on the weekend of 6 – 8 September 2013 in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. It will coincide with International Literacy Day on 8 September and the end of National Book Week 2013.

The main objectives of the Festival are to:

  • Provide a joyous and memorable event that will spark children’s interest in storytelling and reading in isiXhosa
  • Provide a platform for collaboration and communication between readers, writers and publishers of isiXhosa children’s literature

Empower isiXhosa teachers and librarians with access to resources and writers Generate public awareness on isiXhosa children’s literature

enter image description hereThe three-day festival programme has been designed to cater for all age groups – children in pre-school and primary school, teenagers, parents, care-givers, teachers members of the general public. Buskers, giant puppets, stilt-walkers, marimba and field bands will help storytellers keep their audiences, young and old, entertained.

A long line-up of storytellers and writers will lead storytelling performances and writing workshops. Award-winning writers/storytellers include Sindiwe Magona, Gcina Mhlope, Cebo Solombela, Mhlobho Jadezweni and Grahamstown’ s own Siphiwo Mahala. Internationally-acclaimed actor and film and theatre director John Kani will lead a special community conversation with parents. Global information technology company ThoughtWorksSA will host an information technology workshop designed to attract girls into the field of software development. The festival will also provide a space for writers to get together to exchange ideas on writing for children in isiXhosa.

Participating organisations from Grahamstown include the Fingo Festival, the Lebone Literacy Project, the Upstart Youth Development Project, the Phaphamani Children’s Literature Project, save our Schools and Communities Campaign, the Field Band Foundation, the National English Literary Museum, the Rhodes University MA Creative Writing Course and the Grahamstown Foundation. The Festival also enjoys the support of the Makana Municipality. National organisations include the Nal’ibali National Reading Campaign and the African Storybook Project.

Le festivali yePuku iya kubanjwa ngempela-veki yowesi-6 ukuya kowesi-8 kuSeptemba ngo-2013. Iya kubanjelwa eRhini eMpuma Koloni, kananjalo iya kwenzeka ngexesha elinye noMhla weHlabathi obhiyozela ubuchule bokufunda nokubhala, wona ongomhla wesi-8 kuSeptemba, iphinde ihlangane nokuphela kweNational Book Week yalo nyaka.

Ezona njongo ziphambili zale Festivali zezi zilandelayo:

- Ukuzisa umbhiyozo owonwabisayo noya kuhlala ukhunjulwa, noya kuthi uvuselele umdla wabantwana kwiintsomi namabali, nasekufundeni isiXhosa - Ukubonelela ngeqonga lentsebenziswano nonxibelelwano phakathi kwabo bafunda, ababhala nabo bapapasha uncwadi lwabantwana lwesiXhosa
- Ukuxhobisa ootitshala besiXhosa nabo basebenza ngesiXhosa ezilayibrari ngamaqhinga okufikelela kubabhali besiXhosa, nokufumana izinto ezibhalwe ngesiXhosa
- Ukudala iqonga apho abo bantetho isisiXhosa baya kuthi baxoxe malunga nophuhliso loncwadi lwesiXhosa
Ukukhuthaza kuluntu ngokubanzi ulwazi nokuqonda ngoncwadi lwesiXhosa lwabantwana

enter image description hereInkqubo yalo mnyhadala, neya kuthi iqhube iintsuku ezintathu, ilungiselelwe ukuba ifaneleke kubantu ababudala bahlukileyo – abantwana abangekaqali esikolweni, abakwisikolo samabanga aphantsi, ulutsha, abazali, abagcini babantwana, ootitshala noluntu ngokubanzi. Zininzi izinto eziya kunceda abo babalisa iintsomi namabali ukuba abo babamameleyo bahlale bonwabile, oku kuquka abo bonwabisa abantu ezitratweni, oonodoli abakhulu, abantu abahamba ngezinti ezinde, umculo wemarimba, njalo njalo.

Kanti baliqela nababalisi beentsomi namabali kunye nababhali abaya kuthi bakhokele iindibano zokubaliswa kweentsomi namabali, kwakunye nezokubhalwa kwamabali. Ababhali nababalisi beentsomi abaphume izandla singabalula kubo uSindiwe Magona, uGcina Mhlophe, uCebo Solombela, uMhlobo Jadezweni kwakunye nonyana waseRhini, uSiphiwo Mahala. Umdlali weqonga odume ehlabathini jikelele, nokwangumqondisi weefilimu nemidlalo yeqonga, uJohn Kani, yena uya kukhokela imbizo eyodwa noluntu, neya kube ijoliswe kubazali. Inkampani yezobuchwepheshe esebenza ehlabathini jikelele, iThought Works SA iya kusingatha indibano engezobuchwepheshe ejonge ukutsalela abantwana abangamantombazana kummandla wokuphuhlisa iinkqubo zekhompyutha. L e festivali iya kunika nethuba kubabhali ukuba bahlangane futhi batshintshiselane ngezimvo malunga nobuchule bokubhalela abantwana ngesiXhosa.

Imibutho esuka eRhini neya kuthi ithathe inxaxheba kule festivali singabandakanya kuyo iFingo Festival, iLebone Literacy Project, i-Upstart Youth Development Project, iPhaphamani Children’s Project, iSave our Schools and Communities, iField Band Foundation, iNational English Literary Museum kunye neGrahamstown Foundation. Le festivali ikwafumana inkxaso evela kuMasipala waseMakana. Kwimimibutho kazwelonke singabandakanya kuyo iNal’ibali National Reading Campaign kunye ne-African Storybook Project.


Why a story festival?

enter image description hereThe Puku Children’s Literature Foundation has identified the acute shortage of interesting, engaging and appropriate reading material for children, especially in African languages as one of the major factors contributing to South Africa’s education crisis. Elinor Sisulu, Chairperson of the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation says: “Through this festival we want to showcase and celebrate the work of storytellers, writers and artists so that children and their parents, teachers and caregivers will know what is available in their language. We hope it will be the start of a series of story festivals in all our indigenous languages.

Speaking on behalf of the National Arts Festival, Ayanda Mjekula has welcomed the Puku Story Festival: “We are honoured to be part of this exciting and ground breaking initiative. We have been worried to see the indigenous languages being given stepchild treatment with our children struggling to express themselves in their own languages. We decided that we will no longer be spectators witnessing the neglect of a crucial linguistic challenge, hence our support to Puku. We hope that Puku’s ideal, among others, of creating a dynamic and interactive links between producers, teachers and children will be realised.”

Professor Sizwe Mabizela, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University says: “Rhodes University is committed to the notion of multilingualism as part of transformation. In 2008 the University won the PanSALB Multilingualism Award for the efforts being made on campus, more specifically through the work of the African Language Studies Section. These include offering isiXhosa vocation-specific courses for Law, Pharmacy, Education and Journalism as well as overseeing the implementation of multilingual initiatives under the Rhodes Language Committee and NRF SARChI Chair which is headed by Professor Russell Kaschula. It is hoped that these multilingual initiatives can be fed into the broader educational milieu under the auspices of the Puku Festival.“


Festival Organisation

Patrons
Dr Sizwe Mabizela: Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University
Mr Ayanda Mjekula: National Arts Festival Chairperson
Dr John Kani: Actor, direct and playwright
Dr Sindiwe Magona: writer, storyteller and motivational speaker
Dr Gcina Mhlophe: storyteller, poet, playwright, author and activist
Mr Siphiwo Mahala: writer, Deputy Director, Department of Arts and Culture
Professor Kole Omotoso: writer, academic, language rights activist and pan-Africanist

Curatorial Committee
Professor Russell Kaschula: NRF SARCHI Chair in the Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education in the School of Languages, Rhodes University
Dr Mhlobo Jadezweni: Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages, Rhodes University
Ms Xolisa Guzula: Senior Language and Literacy Specialist, Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development


About the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation
The Puku Children’s Literature Foundation is an independent, non-governmental organisation whose core objective is to bridge both the literacy and the digital divide that confronts the vast majority of South African children. We work towards this objective by developing dynamic and innovative programmes and projects to increase and improve the quality of children’s books and recreational materials, both print and digital, in all South African languages. For more about Puku, visit www.puku.co.za

About National Arts Festival:
The National Arts Festival is South Africa’s oldest and premiere arts festival. It is the largest multi-arts festival in Africa. It is the second largest festival after the Edinburgh Festival. Spread across 45 different venues in Grahamstown and across 11 day, the National Arts Festival provides a diverse programme of theatre, dance, music, visual art, film, street theatre, crafts and newly emerging hybrid art forms. The National Arts Festival engages the arts to promote mutual understanding between culturally diverse communities and helps enable artists to play an important role in helping shape South Africa’s identity as a culturally rich and diverse society. Next year the National Arts Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary. www.nationalartsfestival.co.za

About Rhodes University:
Rhodes University presently has around 7300 students. The School of Languages is located within the Faculty of Humanities, the University’s largest Faculty. A number of languages are taught at the school including Chinese, French and German. The African Language Studies has the most undergraduate and postgraduate students within the School of Languages. These include mother-tongue speakers majoring in isiXhosa as well as second language students majoring in isiXhosa as an additional language. They also take a number of second language vocation-specific courses such as isiXhosa for Pharmacy, Law, Education and Journalism (both mother-tongue and second language). www.ru.ac.za/schooloflanguages

For more information about Puku Story Festival: Amabali Aluncuthu contact Ziyanda Gysman on 073 526 0167.