Florence Ngobeni-Allen

My Favorite Joburg People: A Storytelling Project

I was recently invited to participate in an event called Translating Joburg – Storytellers. Translating Joburg is an ongoing series of networking events focused on navigating and enjoying this city, and each event has a different theme. The theme for this month’s event, happening on 20 June, is storytelling.

I’m excited to be part of this because I’ve had some storytelling ideas knocking around in my head for a while. My blog is based around storytelling, but the stories usually just scratch the surface of a particular subject or place. Also, the stories tend to revolve around me and my experiences.

I want to tell other people’s stories, for a change, but in my own personal way.

I’ve chosen four people, each of whom has an extraordinary story. The people come from different genders, races, nations, and backgrounds, but they share three things in common: 1) they have a fascinating story to tell; 2) they live in Joburg and their stories are inextricably linked to this city; and 3) they’ve each helped to shape my own Joburg story in some significant way.

I’ve already interviewed all four people and shot their portraits. I haven’t written the stories yet though…I think I’m putting it off because I know it’s going to be hard. Each of these people mean a lot to me, and none of their lives have been easy; life in Joburg often isn’t. Listening to their stories, some of which I already knew but much of which I didn’t, was a reminder that my life here hasn’t been easy either. It’s been worth it though, and I guess that’s the point.

Here’s who you’ll be meeting:

Florence NgobeniFlorence.

Lucky MasukaLucky.

Michelle De VilliersMichelle.

Story portrait - JamesJames.

I’ve written about all of them before, in one capacity or another, so if you’re a long-time reader you might recognize their faces and remember something about who they are. But this time I’ll be digging deeper.

I’ll devote one blog post to each person in the days leading up to the Translating Joburg event, and then I’ll have a special exhibit set up at the event itself. I’ll also do a live interview with Florence at Translating Joburg.

If you’re interested in attending Translating Joburg, which will feature all different kinds of Joburg storytellers, you can buy tickets here. There are only a few left so act fast. Otherwise, please follow along on the blog. And who knows…Maybe this small project will be the start of something bigger.

Read all of the My Favorite Joburg People posts.

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7 Comments

  • Reply violetonlineisonline June 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    this looks amazing, going to try come to this one.

    • Reply 2summers June 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Cool!

  • Reply Gail Scott Wilson June 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Looking forward to reading their stories, as through your blogs I feel I almost know Lucky and of-course Michelle I do know.

    • Reply 2summers June 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Gail, I know you’ll enjoy the stories!

  • Reply autumnashbough June 2, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    “Something bigger” is going to be a book! Or a “Humans of Joburg” FB page! Or something equally cool. 🙂

    • Reply 2summers June 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Well, you never know. I’m actually hoping that maybe this project will somehow motivate me to get back to my OWN story, and that book I’ve been meaning to write forever. I guess we’ll see.

  • Reply Sine June 9, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Fascinating, can’t wait for the stories.

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