This past Monday, Gcina Mhlophe (Mam’ Gcina), whose many accolades include freedom fighter, activist, actor, storyteller, poet, playwright and author, visited Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH). A champion of the tradition of storytelling, Mam’ Gcina has been a supporter of children’s rights, education and literacy.
Mam’ Gcina is also the founder of Gcinamasiko Arts & Heritage Trust, which is dedicated to using edutainment to promote literacy and a culture of reading, assisting with writing and story-creation opportunities, and promoting African writers and the heritage of storytelling.
After the completion of construction of NMCH, Mam’ Gcina along with UKZN Publishers were kind enough to donate one of her renowned stories, Sunset Colours, to be included on story walls at the hospital. This truly African tale, which infuses features typical of storytelling traditions has been placed at the acute level of the hospital, near the Healing Garden which is meant to sooth and comfort families of children who are either in the operating theatres or in ICU.
Accompanied by her daughter Khwezi, Mam’ Gcina was finally able to get a tour of the hospital and of course, finally see her story life-sized and in full colour.
Illustrations for Sunset Colours and other illustrations at NMCH were kindly donated by renowned artist Piet Grobler.
We are truly grateful for Mam’ Gcina’s support to helping bring a vibrancy to the hospital, while promoting African storytelling.
For more information on Gcina Mhlophe’s books and projects, visit www.gcinamhlophe.co.za.