Kenya: Nakuru Hosts Annual Sigana Storytelling Festival

The 2016 annual Sigana International Storytelling Festival (SISF) was, for the first time, held in Nakuru.

Previously, the festival has been held in Nairobi.

The event attracted hundreds of pupils from Nakuru who took part in the interactive story telling session at the Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) under the ‘Stories by the Fireside’ programme.

Ms Grace Wangare, one of the organisers of the event and who is also an author of children’s books said the event was a chance to reach out to children out of Nairobi as well as identifying potential festival venues.

“SISF festival is held annually and all the past events have been held in Nairobi whereby it brings on board story tellers from more than seven countries from all over the world.

“This year we had participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Korea, Singapore and Ethiopia which joined us,” said Ms Wangari.

“We refer to it as a small festival with a big name which attracts story tellers from various parts of the world.

‘Sigana’ is a Luo word meaning story.

“By its own nature, storytelling is very educative as you don’t just listen to the story but you also learn from it.

“The session is also applicable in teaching comprehension in oral literature and short stories and riddles in a way that is examinable for the high school students,” Ms Wangari added.

The librarian in charge of KNLS, Mrs Purity Mutuku, said the event was part of their monthly storytelling session which gives students a chance to not only learn but also grow up as responsible citizens.

Story telling is one of the methods used in the olden days in moulding the character of a child.

“We have received reports from the schools whose students have been taking part in the event and they have marked improvement in both composition and essay writing,” said Mrs Mutuku.

The children who have been taking part in the session have improved in their language building and communication skills.

She added that Nakuru being a cosmopolitan county, the sessions have helped the children to live harmoniously and peacefully with each other.

Source: The Nation