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Story Bosso inspires creative storytelling development

Launching on Friday, 31 August 2018, Nal'ibali - the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign - in collaboration with the South African office of the United Nations, will be using its annual multilingual storytelling contest, Story Bosso, to encourages the development of imagination, curiosity and empathy of children during the month of September with a South African Heroes theme.
Image Supplied - Story Bosso 2017
Image Supplied - Story Bosso 2017

"By remembering and telling the stories of our heroes, we hope to inspire greatness in our children. Heroes educate us about what is right and wrong; they give us hope and motivate us to overcome life’s challenges. When children hear stories about heroes they can identify with, they can internalise these values and are more likely to act on them, making heroic and moral behaviour part of their everyday lives," says Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali managing director.

An effective method of passing on values, storytelling is also an important part of children’s literacy development. While it is part of daily life, it also requires practice, and the campaign has created a hero-inspired storytelling board game to support entrants in building and practising their storytelling skills. The board game will be freely available for download on Nal’ibali’s website.

The campaign will also directly connect with at least 10,000 adults and children through a series of community and regional events held by its literacy mentors, schools’ network – Story Powered Schools, and volunteers or FUNda Leaders across the country. Guests will have the opportunity to play the board game in their home language before auditioning and entering a story in any one of this year’s four categories: Hero of the Past, Living Legend, Personal Hero, and Fictional Hero.

Encouraging children, adults to play their part

Many of the values for which South African heroes stand, align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity and dignity for all. Masimba Tafirenyika, director of the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria, says: "We hope that all who participate in this year’s contest will see that the sustainable development goals are really human rights and that those who stand up for them are heroes."

Sharing more about the SDGs and encouraging children and adults to play their part in ensuring they are met, UN ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka will open the competition at a special event in Soweto. Joining the singer-songwriter and humanitarian will be local celebrity and hero Busisiwe Mmotla. Miss Soweto will share her own heroic story before demonstrating how to play the storytelling board game to an audience of primary school children.

This year’s Story Bosso, or first-place winner, will be awarded R5, 000, as well as a book hamper. A further eight provincial prizes will be awarded and each of these winners will receive R1,000 and airtime. Stories must be entered by 30 September. All winners will be announced in October.

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