Writing stories on the Mother City

2019-05-28 06:00

Wynberg Library is one of the many libraries calling on people to write their stories about the City of Cape Town.

Residents are encouraged to share stories about the City, be it in a story or in poetry form, as part of the new Writing my City initiative.

This written piece can be on anything that speaks to how the City has impacted the writer.

Mayco member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien says Writing my City is an initiative between the City of Cape Town’s Library and Information Services and the Open Book Festival.

This will see a published collection of stories about the Mother City, as told by a multiplicity of voices, and which will be launched at this year’s Open Book Festival in September.

Submissions are open

The project started in March, with the closing date for submission of stories on Saturday 15 June.

Anyone can enter to submit their story that speaks to Cape Town in some way.

The criteria includes that the story must be 1 500 words or less, focus on an aspect of Cape Town and be written in English, isiXhosa or Afrikaans.

Prose, poetry or non-fiction will be considered.

The final selection of 40 contributions will be chosen for publishing in the Cape Town Library Book.

Libraries are running several workshops to help writers put together their work.

“Established writers and teachers assisted participants on basic writing skills. Facilitating new storytellers of all ages to add their stories on paper in their home language can be rewarding,” says Badroodien.Tell your story

Paidamoyo Gerald Manomano, creative non-fiction writer, is facilitating workshops at the library.

He says the experience has truly been so humbling for him.

“People are really sharing their stories and with some of them I can relate. They are writing on how beautiful the City is and there is a poem about the harbours and fishing communities which tells stories of the City.

“Coming from foreign nationals is how Cape Town is called the Mother City but when they came here it was far from it. They didn’t feel the love.

“They say one could feel the racial divide here. There are a lot of diverse stories and people seem to be enjoying the project,” he says.

The project is still open for anyone to join and information can be found at the nearest City of Cape Town library.

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