Zintsoni is a storytelling organisation that packages stories through books, storytelling performances, puppetry, animation and battery-operated toys. The company is run by Dr. Nomsa Mdlalose who performs as Dr SASA. It is also a publishing house for authors of children’s books, including children and teenagers who write stories for children.
The organisation received funding from the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) in 2022 under the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP 3) funding call. The PESP 3 funding called on individual art practitioners and art organisations active in all disciplines supported by the NAC to submit project proposals with a performance aspect that will create job opportunities within the sector as well as outside the sector. The call also required Projects that would promote indigenous and marginalised art forms as well as meet these three (3) Critical Focus Areas namely: addressing social ills, supporting vulnerable groups, new works and innovation.
Furthermore, funding applications submitted had to demonstrate how they were going to increase their access to new markets and audiences, keep themselves afloat after funding as well and attract and keep new partnerships.
Zintsomi met all the set targets by implementing a three-day book summit that consisted of seminars led by children who are authors, and this created a platform for this young authors to showcase their work. In addition, the event was also used as workshops on storytelling were the audiences and potential writers learned the basics of writing children’s stories. Books published by the organisation were also on exhibition at the event.
Prior to the event, Dr. Nomsa toured local schools in townships to introduce the art of storytelling. These visits helped to showcase Dr. Nomsa as a storytelling performer and author of children’s books to new audiences. ‘Through my partnership with the Department of Education as well as my contacts in the schools’ district offices, I was able to connect with language teachers’, explained Dr. Nomsa.
The storytelling performances brought awareness to Zintsomi publications and that led to orders from the school’s libraries. The project also increased national identity using the ancient art of storytelling as well as created job opportunities for mostly women and youth across South Africa.
Dr. Nomsa continues to run her bookshop in Midrand, where she hosts storytelling performances. She can be reached at 0615265356 or 0769097107 as well as via email on firstname.lastname@example.org