African Folktales for Children featuring Zolani Mahola

We have found a magical space and are turning it into a theatre for children and their families this school holiday. It is empowering for us as an arts development organization to set up a space suitable for our creations especially tailored for children. We are delighted to have an opportunity to share what we have been growing creatively on this international World Storytelling day i.e. 20 March 2019.

Two new fabulous female theatre directors, Ntombifuthi Mkhasibe & Joce Engelbrecht, have been exploring possibilities based on folktales with a group of 5 talented young children’s theatre makers. Ntombi has chosen a Zulu folktale Why Dassie Has No Tail which is all about the ancient elemental gods challenging the animals to develop their talents and how they are rewarded with suitable tails. Joce choose the Bushmen folktale The First San. This story explores the search for life in a world before life. The mantis journeys over a world of water as a messenger of the creator. Inspired children from Vrygrond & Muizenberg, participants of our Muizenberg drama club, will also share an extract from the play they are developing called Greedy Spider. These teasers will give you a taste of the works that will be ready in the June holidays.

Python and the Qunube Tree directed by Seiso Qhola with Naledi Tlailane, Siyawandisa Badi and Vincent Meyburgh is set long, long ago when all the animals lived in harmony. A terrible drought leaves all the animals on the brink of starvation. Python’s Qunube tree is the only food that survives. Little tortoise saves the day with his special talent, breaking the cycle of the drought and freeing the berries for all the animals to eat. This story is told in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa with a python puppet, animal masks and singing. The children learn about sharing, perseverance, trust, and that we all have talents that need to be discovered.  This play comes fresh from the Wolfie and Zabalaza festivals. This piece has flourished in front of an audience and become more interactive than ever.

“Totally enthralled from beginning to end – to the sound, movement, colour and story!” – Linde Wilson

Our illustrator Adam Carnegie has just finished illustrating a children’s book based on the Python and the Qunube Tree play. The drawings are all done in the same style as the poster (above) for the show. For the first time ever this book will be available to people who attend this event. This way parents and guardians who buy the book will be able to revisit the theatre experience every time they read the book and enjoy the stunning illustrations. Posters of the event and show will also be for sale. All the income from these will go towards Jungle Theatre Company’s activities.

Popcorn will be munched, juice will be slurped and macaroni and cheese will fill hungry tummies. All will be invited to take part in a workshop based on the performances. This will get everyone re-telling the stories in their own words and languages becoming the animals from the stories. The event will culminate in musical jam. All will be invited to dance and the delightful Zolani Mahola will sing.

So many things about this event are super exciting for me and I am almost certain one or more of these things will be exciting for you too. It’s part of an international movement. People all over the world are saying go on bring the children. Share a unique experience with them. An experience that will never be forgotten.

To book your tickets visit: