Vongai Mbara Arts Reporter
From their origins in oral traditions, stories have been the vehicles for transmitting culture, preserving memories and making sense of the world.
From the lips of skillful storytellers to the attentive ears and open hearts of their listeners and now to your television screens, these tales foster a sense of identity, communicates values, and provides education and entertainment.
Writer and storyteller Ignatius Mabasa in partnership with Star FM presented a special screening of two animated folktales on Thursday at the Star FM stand followed by his usual “Ngano” on the station’s programme.
Speaking in an interview, Mabasa said he felt the need to do animated folktales to keep up with the evolving technology.
“Gone are the days when elders would sit down with the kids to tell them stories mainly because of their challenging careers. These days when you visit, the young kids will ask for your phone and they will start looking for videos, pictures and games. I felt challenged by that and I asked myself how I could make “ngano” relevant in this modern day society. That is when I decided to do animated folktales so that young people will enjoy “ngano”, he said.
Some of the stories on the animation includes “Chipo nechipopai”, a story that tackles issues about child marriages and “Nhengeni” which is about a selfish man who was punished for is deeds.
Mabasa said his stories are a combination of stories he creates and stories he heard when he was a little boy.
“I am a book writer and my literature comes from stories that I grew up listening to but these stories then gets old and there is need for me to start creating my own. Whoever told stories in the past had to create them. I have already told stories I heard as a young boy and now I am also contributing completely different content,” he said.
His project was funded by Culture Fund, European Union and Sweden and Mabasa said it was not very hard to find sponsors.
“This project makes a huge impact in so many sectors. It ticks the box of language promotion, language preservation, cultural dialog, education, it brings the family together and it promotes confidence within young people. It is also a permanent project because we have created a mobile application, and we will be uploading folktales on YouTube and other social media networks. This attracted a lot of people so in the end getting funds was not so hard,” said Mabasa.
He also promised to keep on producing more stories however this time, very short stories that will keep people entertained but without consuming more time.