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TALES OF THE TOKOLOSHE (article first published : 2004-05-22)

Well-known director, actor and playwright Pieter Scholtz is to publish a book of African tales titled Tales of the Tokoloshe.

"The little creature known as the Tokoloshe is a mischievous, fun-loving imp who causes chaos and consternation through his impudence and precocity. Tokoloshe in these tales enjoys tricks and mischief more than anything in the world," explains Pieter Scholtz. "The first trick involves a magic pebble which he keeps in a small leather bag around his neck and when he rubs this magic pebble and chants a weird spell, he becomes invisible and incredible happenings take place. The second trick enables the Tokoloshe to initiate any manner of mischief through his ability to assume any shape or form he pleases."

The three tales entitled The Good Tokoloshe and the Evil Tokoloshe, How the Bee got its Sting and Crocodile Tears explore the concept of two Tokoloshes who are as different from each other as chalk and cheese. Pieter Scholtz explained that many rural people raise their beds on bricks to prevent the Tokoloshe reaching them when they are sleeping.

Several stories offer an explanation of how the Tokoloshe has achieved notoriety through individuals blaming him for their bad fortune or even for their own limitations.

"The tales explore the rich fabric of rural customs and beliefs and follow the Tokoloshe as he sows his seeds of fun and individuality throughout the land," says Pieter.

Tales of the Tokoloshe is published by Struik and due to be launched in August. It features charming illustrations by Cherie Treweek.




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