Inter-generational storytelling is a big part of South African culture, regardless of race or ethnicity. Not only does it ensure that our heritage is preserved, it can also be extremely therapeutic, both for the storyteller and the listeners.

Yet with the pressures of modern-day life, we often forget to share our stories and listen to those with stories to tell. young@home is a production that was recently performed at the Hillbrow Theatre (ex-André Huguenet Theatre) in Johannesburg. It brings young and old Hillbrow residents together to tell their personal stories – stories of triumph, suffering, joy and everyday life in the inner-city suburb.

Through their relationship with the Hillbrow Theatre Project (a partner of the RMB Fund Creative Economy programme), our friends at RMB sponsored the documentation of the production, to share its magic with a wider audience.

“The Hillbrow Theatre Project offers after-school performance art programmes to children and youth who live in and around Hillbrow,” explains Yvette Nowell, head of the RMB Fund. “The project, in partnership with Tswelopele Frail Care Centre, staged young@home to bring different generations together to tell and listen to stories, preserve memories and celebrate a collective heritage.”

A video documentary was compiled about the project, which you can watch by following the link below:

“The documentary reminds us of the luxuries that many of us have around us every day, but also of a different kind of wealth that comes through connecting with one another and sharing our stories,” says Yvette.

Some of our favourite quotes from the video:

“I am truly elated being here. I perform my story, and that is a wonderful feeling. In front of people, telling them my story, I feel a lightness of spirit.” – Flora Mthembu, storyteller and performer (pictured top)

“It is a story about generosity. Strangers who meet in the middle of Hillbrow are willing to share their personal stories, from the most happy to the most depressing and sad. Once people have shared something on that level, they are able to relate as human beings.” – Thandazile Sonia Radebe, choreographer

“There is a realisation among the generations that ‘I’m not the only one; we all have stories to share’, and that there are common factors in the stories that each generation tells.” – Gcebile Dlamini, director

Wishing you a good Youth Day 2017!