Storytelling an art that is gradually becoming extinct, mostly because of the age we are in, technology, books, and Netflix have taken over. This was the lamentation of the organizer of the Re-Imagined Storytelling Festival recently organized in Kenya. Several storytellers from different parts of Africa and beyond gathered in Nairobi with the aim of reviving an art that is gradually becoming lost.
One of the story tellers who performed at the event, Wangui Wa Kamonji from Kenya shared his grief about the disappearance of storytelling. He said our past and heritage is linked to our stories. The memories traced back to our ancestors are a great guide for us. These stories make us knowledgeable on how to live, act, and treat others.
The organizer, Maimouna Jallow went further to state that she had to visit several villages to find out about folk tales. It amazed her, in a rather negative way, that the only people who could tell these stories were those in their 80s and above. At this point it dawned on her that a very important part of our culture was becoming extinct, this burden gave birth to the Re-Imagined Storytelling Festival.
The storytellers at the festival addressed several themes including corruption, obsession, war, materialism and glory. There were also tributes to great Africans like Fela Kuti, Thomas Sankara, Ama Ata Aidoo, among others.