Young learners were mesmerised just listening to one of many story telling sessions held at the Guga S’thebe Theatre in Langa last Thursday.Called Story Bosso, the event was organised by Nal’ibali, which is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading.Thanduxolo Mkoyi and Nolubabalo Rani, enchanted the children with traditional tales before Sindiwe Magona, the grandmother of storytelling, author and activist, shared with the youngsters a short history and the importance of folk tales.Magona also told her own favourite tales. Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali managing director, said in a statement: “Those most fortunate among us will remember being enchanted as young children by the stories told to us by our gogos, parents and other family members, at bed time or around a fire. These are some of our most cherished memories, but many of these stories have been passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth and we need to remember and revive this storytelling tradition, lest we lose these stories forever,”Rani, said storytelling needs to be encouraged at all levels in society in South Africa.“It is important ... Because this was the way of passing history to generations of offspring. Cellphones and the social media are now killing generations old storytelling culture. Story telling makes you think out of the box. It helps us to preserve our history and culture and also improves the vocabulary of our language. It also entertains children and opens their minds. Learners who are part of Faku Reading Club (where Rani is a volunteer) have improved their quality of writing essays,” she said.Endinakho Mandungana,10, a Grade three learner at Mokone Primary School in Langa, concurred that storytelling was good for children.“I love storytelling. My mother, Portia Mandungana tells me stories frequently at home. They make me happy. I will grow old doing storytelling,” she said.Ayabonga Maka, 9, also praised storytelling.“I love it, because it makes me happy. I also want to do it in future. I have a library card so I normally go and read stories there, which I enjoy doing,” Maka said.Over 8 000 children’s books in a variety of official South African languages have been distributed to children and caregivers attending community events which take place in six different provinces as part of the talent search.There are also other prizes in the form of cash, airtime, books and caps up for grabs. The main prize of R5 000 cash, R1 000 book voucher, R500 airtime and a Story Bosso cap will be awarded to the overall Story Bosso winner. There will also be eight provincial winners, who will each receive R1 000 cash, airtime and a Story Bosso cap. Spot prizes include books, airtime and caps.