Elders tell their tales

2018-01-16 06:00
Storytellers with their certificates (from left) Hazel Naicker (third), Maureen Rooks (winner) and Belinda Johanson (second).Photo: supplied

Storytellers with their certificates (from left) Hazel Naicker (third), Maureen Rooks (winner) and Belinda Johanson (second).Photo: supplied

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DURBAN’S elderly were given the chance to reveal their extraordinary true life tales through Tafta’s annual “Tell my Story” competition.

The Association for the Aged (Tafta) opened the competition to all its elders and club members with the aim of “inspiring a life worth living”.

The elders submitted a range of stories from fun and whimsical to deeply personal accounts of their lives. Aimed at reawakening a love of storytelling and reading among the elderly, the competition allows Tafta residents to connect their ideas and inspiration of their journey through time, as well as identify undiscovered storytellers within their communities.

“Stories bring us together and allows us to immerge into a beautiful world. We believe we owe it to each other to tell stories and we want to celebrate the art of storytelling by inviting our residents to share their stories with the world.

“They were encouraged to grab a pen and submit either a fiction or non-fiction masterpiece,” said Femada Shamam, Tafta CEO.

After an overwhelming response, Maureen Rooks of Sunshine Community Club in Sydenham won the first prize of R500 cash, with Belinda Johanson of John Conradie House, coming second and earning R300, followed by Hazel Naicker of Tafta Lodge filling the third spot with the R200 prize.

In her story Naicker wrote: “I will never forget the words old friend said to me ‘as long as you are active, curious and have a good sense of humour, you are never too old to speed down life’s highway’.”

“Storytelling is one of the greatest tools we have to develop not just our curiosity and imagination, but also a sense of empathy and belonging.

“Storytelling and reading aloud allow us to build connections with each other by passing on knowledge and providing a shared experience while at the same time being important building blocks of literacy learning,” said Shamam.

The Tafta team was touched by the heartfelt moments experienced while reading the entries.

“These were all real experiences and intimate journeys into the hidden lives of ordinary people where each episode is an empathy shot in your arm,” said Shamam.


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