Tribute to Storytelling

Sonyacha Aamba

Stories have a way of drawing children in, sparking their curiosity, bringing vivid images to life whilst allowing their minds to travel to far away places. They weave a web of connection that bridge the past and present together. The spice to these stories comes from our intonations, expressions and modulations combined with the varied gestures, creating a transcending experience that is truly unique to storytelling. 

Today, oral stories are a dying art – a tradition that was once kept alive by grandparents (especially grandmamas) in most households. We all have memories of gathering around our grandmothers and listening with rapt attention as they brought ancient stories to life on those warm, late summer-y nights.  They had a way of effortlessly wrapping morality, values, integrity and humour into simple tales that left lasting impressions on our psyche. 

Excerpt from The Lost Art of Storytelling, “The spoken word lost value in our society to the written word, and now the written word is losing its importance to the instant, visual images that surround us. Still, there are generations that miss the human connection that came with oral stories, whether it was the loving caress of a grandmother’s hand on your forehead that fuelled your imagination or the hypnotic contact between the storyteller and you that made you feel the story was your own.”

As a tribute to those golden days, I have created a short story series celebrating this wilting tradition. I have titled it in memory of my beloved grandmother – Savi Paaty. Each story in the series is a story within a story. Although oral stories are becoming a lost art, it is time we revive and bring them back to life, into our homes and schools, back into our children’s lives. 

I hope you enjoy the series!