Storytelling, whether it be in the form of praise poetry performed at a wedding ceremony, or a fable told to children round a campfire, plays an integral role in the lives of Zulu people, and is something that Gcina Mhlophe is trying desperately to keep alive. Mhlophe (born Nokugcina Elsie Mhlophe) is a well known South African activist, author and director, as well as being one of our few female storytellers. Given her passion for her art, and her commitment to preserving Zulu culture, it’s unsurprising that she’s taken it upon herself to set up an oral history museum in Durban’s CBD. Khumbulani Memory House, which will be located in Pixley House in Durban, offers a space where visitors can listen to the stories and histories of ordinary people, as well as being able to record their own stories. Visitors will also be exposed to films that document South Africa’s rich history.
Memory House is exactly the type of project that eThekwini needs – with the passing of time we are at risk of losing many of the stories that make up our history, with very little detail of Zulu culture having been committed to paper. We wish Ms Mhlophe all the best with this incredible project!
Note: The Khumbulani Memory project is still in its fundraising stage, so look out for further details on Ulwazi.
Photograph courtesy of griotproduction.com