Young and young at heart Filipinos had a rare opportunity to see storytelling South African style as Gcina Mhlophe-Becher performed her remarkable narration, acting, and storytelling skills at the SM City Pampanga this February 21, 2011.
In this joint project between the South African Embassy and the SM Supermalls, Gcina treated 150 selected elementary students for University of the Assumption, San Loreanzo Ruiz, Basic Thoughts Learning Center and Golden Harvest Isntitue of learning to her award winning performances at the Newest Wing.
South Africa’s favorite teller of tales has had an extraordinary professional career and her achievements have had a profound impact on South African culture, arts, and heritage. Dedicated to preserving the art of storytelling as a means of keeping history alive, as well as to encourage and motivate children to read Gcina has been writing and performing on stage and on screen for more than twenty years.
By learning stories, we learn to communicate and say what we mean,” Gcina says in an interview with Leila Summers. “One of the reasons I love telling stories to young people is to encourage them to use words and language. Stories are a way of bonding the family, and yes, storytelling is healing.”
Gcina adds that “stories opens doors. It is trans-gender, trans-ages, trans-generations, trans-cultures, and trans-religions. And that is very empowering.” Her reason for traveling the world to share her storytelling skills? “I tell stories in order to wake up stories in other people,” she says. “Every living being has a story to tell.”
Inspired by her storytelling grandmother, she has earned her renown in poetry and storytelling since 1979; and has won 34 awards in publications and writing, as well as literature, storytelling, and her promotion of African culture. She is also a theater actress, and has won awards for her stage performances in New York, Chicago, Edinburgh, and Africa.