HOPEFUL: Author and storyteller Sindiwe Magona. Picture: Ruan Nel
Cape Town - The Cape Town Music Academy will present Kwathi ke Kaloku - Once Upon a Time, a 60-minute traditional Xhosa storytelling and musical performance for primary school pupils by award-winning author and storyteller, Sindiwe Magona, and acclaimed traditional South African musician Bongani Sotshononda and his United Nations of Africa band.

Magona said children who read or hear stories in their mother tongue are more likely to recognise themselves in books.

“The story is about hope. Storytelling for children in the township is a weapon of hope despite their dire situations. Children see, hear and learn from characters who remind them of themselves, ” said Magona.

The production will travel to four key points in the Western Cape, starting on Monday at the Masikhanye Hall in Gugulethu from 10am.

On September 20, the performance travels to Guga S’thebe in Langa. On September 21, the show will be presented at Zolani Centre in Nyanga as part of the Fringe Festival.

On September 22, the cast travels to Hermanus for a performance at Zwelihle, a township primary school, and perform for Sparklekids, a Learnership Programme by Magona that presents life skills to children.

The production will be directed by Magona’s daughter, Thokozile Sayedwa with dramaturgy by Mandla Mbothwe. The show is open to children aged seven and up.

Magona said that once it ran its course, an audio version of the performances will be produced on CD for sale and the proceeds donated to schools and an educational aid.

“No child should ever be denied or deprived of the privilege of the mother tongue. It is a birthright, sacred. To de-tongue a child, even by neglect or oversight, should be considered a criminal act,” concluded said Magona.

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Cape Argus