‘You are hilarious!’ A grade one boy yells during today’s session.
‘My name is not hilarious. It is Valanga!’
This little exchange gives you a good idea of the incredible fun the children had with Valanga at the StoryArts festival today.
Valanga brought and played various instruments he made himself. In between singing, drumming and sharing stories of Valanga as a small boys growing up in South Africa without any technology and recounting his first uniform, his first drive in car, and the first time he got his shoes stolen, the children almost cried with laughter and sang along to many songs.
But they also got to experience a little of what it would be like growing up in a place and time much different to their own.
This session was as he promised right from the start:
Laughing? Yes! Boring? No!
Valanga Khoza was born in the Limpopo province of South Africa and grew up in Alexandra, a black township in Johannesburg and one of the poorest urban areas in the country.
Growing up in a community where many people could neither read or write, music and storytelling became all the more important for Valanga.
Since moving to Australia in 1976, he’s been telling stories and singing songs about his homeland, South Africa.
He speaks about growing up under the apartheid system, which forced him to leave South Africa, and how sharing stories from his homeland through performance and song keeps his culture alive.
Yvonne Mes, Author of Meet Sidney Nolan and Oliver’s Grumbles http://www.yvonnemes.com