Imbawula: Keeping the Storytelling Fire Burning

Random Window is proud to present the latest installment of its storytelling initiative – Imbawula – featuring comedian Loyiso Gola and writer Pontsho Pilane amongst others.

Next month’s line up of story tellers is staying true Random Window’s recent trend of snagging media industry heavyweights to headline the night.

Previous story tellers include singer and radio host Unathi Msengana, writer and editor

Kojo Baffoe as well as media personalities Claire Mawisa and Anele Mdoda.

Bassline in Newtown provides the perfect setting for the monthly event.

“The location, infrastructure and history of the Bassline are a perfect fit for what we are trying to achieve,” said Siphiwe Mpye, founder of Random Window in a statement. 

Aimed at fostering and maintaining the fading art of storytelling while encouraging literacy, Mpye, got the idea for the event from a childhood spent watching how other children connected with each other through gathering around an imbawula to tell stories based on a range of trivial and important topics.

“The event brings together storytellers from different walks of life to share their experiences – whether inspiring, humorous, touching or thought provoking – with a view to exposing a shared human experience,” said Mpye.

The aim of Imbawula ties in perfectly to the work Mpye does as a Dream Ambassador for the Quarphix Foundation’s Radical Dreamers programme.

Therefore, the event also serves as a fund-raising platform for the programme, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with financial and academic support in pursuit of their dream careers.

“Two of our central pillars are exposure and support and we deliver that through the dream ambassadors. As a dream ambassador, Siphiwe exposes the children to their dream careers” said Dipalesa Mpye, Research, Development and Strategy Manager at the Quarphix Foundation who also happens to be Siphiwe’s sister.

According to Mpye, money raised at past Imbawula events has paid for an excursion for the dreamers to Freedom Park on Human Rights Day as well as stationery, prizes for their spelling bee winners and some tutoring expenses. 

Wendy Tlou Speaking at Imbawula. Photo by: Sinqobile Mjali

Founder of Chicafrican, former Chief Marketing Officer of Brand SA, Wendy Tlou is also a former story teller.

Tlou said was overwhelmed by the fact that her story on birthing was met with a standing ovation on the night she spoke.

“Very few of us [successful people] actually delve into the personal difficulties and pain we have had to go through to get to where we are. That is what moves people” – Wendy Tlou

The night is not all about words. Imbawula’s resident artist and one of my favorites, Melo B. Jones will also be returning to entertain crowds with her fusion of Soul, Jazz, R&B and Neo-Soul.

Jones has performed – both as a main act as well as a featuring artist – on many stages including the Cape Town Jazz Festival, Jack Daniels Boomtown and the Super Bock Annual Festival in Luanda.

The next Imbawula will be held on March 2nd 2016 at 7pm. There will be a R50 cover charge and all proceeds at the door and T-shirts sales on the night go to the Quarphix Foundation.

In the mean time, can WATCH this video of Zwai Bala speaking at the last Imbawula to get an idea of what to expect.

Follow Random Window on Instagram and Twitter @randomwindowza for more information.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @mediagirl_za.


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