Crocodile and Monkey's Heart (Episode 3 in English)
"This has been one of my favourite stories from childhood. The big Ngwenya River was teeming with crocodiles. In my imagination, they were massive and more deadly than any other creature. They seemed to have no enemies and could pick and choose what meat they liked to eat.
"I had never seen one, but I was terrified just to hear about them. And then the naughty little monkey decided to make friends with this creature! That was beyond me… But then again, I was relieved when it all worked out fine in the end.
"My grandmother told it so well you could swear she had been there in real life to see it all happen!
"Now, can you imagine my surprise when other people told me that this story was told in their country too? In Zambia, Mozambique, Singapore, the Philippines, India - they insisted this story originated in their native land. I told them, "No, this story is definitely from KwaZulu-Natal!"
"We playfully argued with other storytellers at various international storytelling festivals. So today, I am truly happy to share this story with so many homes the world over. And also, it reminds me that we must always put our heart into all that we do.
"Let's all celebrate the magical universality of a well-told story.
"Remember the famous saying: It is the heart that separates good from the great!"
(Production Engineer: Lungile Dhlamini. Executive Producer: Diane Macpherson)
More about Dr Gcina Mhlophe:
Dr Gcina Mhlophe is a renowned author, storyteller and founding director of Gcinamasiko Arts & Heritage Trust. Her works have been translated into multiple languages, including Braille, and her theatre plays have been directed in the USA, UK, and Greenland. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from seven universities globally and has received numerous accolades, such as the SAMA, OBBIE, and Joseph Jefferson Awards, as well as the SAFTA Lifetime Achievement award. Her birthday on 24th October is recognised as National Storytelling Day in South Africa since 2019, inaugurated at her adopted performance space, The Storytelling Tree, in Durban (RSA).
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