top of page
  • Writer's pictureThuthukani "TK" Ndlovu

Ultimate Storyteller Contest

// Open call for submissions ends on the 31st of July 2020 ; Hadithi ya Africa //

"Storytelling has been the spine of African heritage for as long as Oral Tradition has had a voice. The passing down, through Storytelling, of knowledge, wisdom, and experiences from one generation to the next has not only been a way of preserving and advancing culture, but also a creation of a safe space for communities to tell their stories and lived experiences openly for the entertainment and education of the collective. This is the prime charge of Hadithi ya Africa."

Greetings fam. I hope you are all well and keeping safe. Today I would like to share this amazing opportunity with you that's organised by Hadithi ya Africa. The Ultimate Storyteller Contest (USC) is an African competition running online from July the 3rd to September 30th 2020. In its second year, the annual USC challenges storytellers to inspire audiences through their experiences. The shortlisted storytellers will then be trained in the art of storytelling to give them maximum impact while entertaining you with their adventures, steps and mishaps.

USC is open to all African storytellers from within the African continent, and the prize money up for grabs for the winner is $1000 USD, so make sure that you make your submission before the 31st of July. As mentioned in the above poster, all you gotta do to enter is upload a 3 minute video of you sharing your personal story on your own Facebook/ twitter account, then include the following hashtags "#UltimateStoryTeller , #USC and #HadithiyaAfrica. You can click on the image below for more information.

I recently got the opportunity to interview one of the organizers "Thandwefika Tshabalala", just to get a different insight into what you could expect from this competition and the motives behind it. Some of the things to take note of if you would like to enter are as follows: You don't have to exhaust the 3 minute guideline, however it would be more ideal to take advantage of each second in demonstrating your storytelling skills; there should be no editing done to the video (you should just share your story as a performance fam); participants can only enter by themselves - as an individual (so no group performances), especially because the story has to portray your own unique experiences.

During the interview, it was quite evident how passionate the 2019 Southern Africa speaking champion was about storytelling and its importance. He embodied the vision of Hadithi ya Africa, which is to create a positive African self-image by encouraging Africans to understand each other through Storytelling, inter-Africa travel and African Restoration Projects; the Ultimate Storyteller Contest (USC) is of the former. It's also imperative to know that Hadithi ya Africa actually borrows its name from the language of kiSwahili, (the most widely spoken indigenous language in Africa) and means “The story of Africa”. As the interview progressed, Thandwefika then mentioned something to me that I resonated with, and this is actually a 2 part question that has always been in the back of my mind for a couple of years now: "Who is currently recording our current experience, and who recorded our history?".

It's no coincidence that the history that we find in different archives was not predominantly recorded by us (people with the same ethnicity), so the role that Hadithi ya Africa plays is very significant, because it encourages us to digitize and document/record our own true experiences. Think about how many personal stories your grandparents have to share, and imagine these stories are like an ocean of knowledge and wisdom. Now think about the ability to dive into this ocean, not only as the current generation, but also for future generations. I'm sure you would agree with me that we can't let the older generation leave us, without letting us experience the oceans they posses in their minds and hearts. We also cannot neglect the current oceans that this generation is developing, but most importantly, we must play role in documenting these oceans ourselves, so the next generations don't hear about us through a foreign voice, but through our own voices (voices they can resonate with).

A big shout out to Gift Vuma from Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) for winning the competition last year, and rumor has it that he wants to defend his title this year. For more information, follow @HadithiyaAfrica on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and don't forget to also check out their website. All the best with your video submission & that's all for today fam. Please do share this competition with as many people as possible, and don't forget to subscribe to this site so that we keep you posted on other competitions. Let's connect on the socials @2tukani on Twitter and Instagram. Peace.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page