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Virtual Platforms Help Preserve Africa’s Storytelling Tradition

The ancient art of traditional African storytelling has found an unlikely ally in the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of lockdowns, the Play Africa Children’s Museum in South Africa has put its African Storytelling project online, broadening its audience to include children around the world. It was a steep learning curve for the storytellers, the children’s museum and its partner organization ASSITEJ SA, the South African branch of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People, to master the technology and adapt techniques and props to bring interactive African storytelling to Facebook Live. However, their efforts have transmitted African story magic far beyond South Africa, despite the COVID-19 lockdown, says Ann Simmonds of the Play Africa Children’s Museum. Play Africa Children’s Museum and ASSITEJ SA are also working on developing complementary educational content and considering ways for wider use of the stories