By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Patriotic Advocacy Network,Sierra Leone (PAN) will host its sixth edition of the National Storytelling Festival on 3rd February, at the New City Hall in Freetown.
PAN-SL in partnership with Usifu Jalloh commonly known as Cowfoot Prince, is set to host its annual National Storytelling Festival on the theme: My Life my Land, and my Culture “Peace F> DAE”.
Speaking to this medium in an exclusive interview, Executive Director of PAN-SL, Ansumana Keita, disclosed that the National Storytelling Festival is an annual event that celebrates the traditional and contemporary oral heritage of Sierra Leone,and promotes both literary and oral culture, together with traditional songs that are under threat of extinction.
He added that NSF inspires people in all facets of society, including pupils, students, educators, elderly people and Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora; thus creating the platform for people to share their stories in a well-structured, organized, educative and entertaining manner.
He said for the past years, NSF has been able to attract the attention of both national and international audience, noting that in this year’s event they are expecting over 500 people in attendance.
He disclosed that the National Storytelling Festival will involve the engagement and participation of school pupils, university students and youth groups across Sierra Leone on the theme “United We Stand-Beat Tribalism” which, according to him, was deliberately selected in order to promote peace, unity and national cohesion in the country.
He also revealed that the students will take part in competing and entertaining their audiences, adding that they will be telling stories, poems, doing cultural and musical performances, stating that special prizes including Certificates, Medals, Trophies and Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winners.
Keita maintained that the NSF is divided into categories which are stories with traditional songs and music and instruments, stories in riddles, stories in native languages and stories in English etc.
He said prior to the event they will be touring and facilitating trainings in various schools, universities and communities which ,as he maintains, started in November and then organize a two week event in December- one week for school going pupils and university students and another one week for community engagements.
He called on Sierra Leoneans to support the said event as tickets are now available for sale.