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TALES OF THE TOKOLOSHE (article first published : 2004-08-20)

Adams Campus Bookshop and Struik Publishers have launched Pieter Scholtzís delightful childrenís book, Tales Of The Tokoloshe.

Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Natal, Durban campus, Professor Pieter Scholtz was head of the drama department for over 25 years before his retirement in 1997. He currently runs the Kwasuka Theatre in Durban where regular productions are presented for young audiences.

Tales of the Tokoloshe is his first set of published short stories. He has also written and published 25 plays for young audiences and won the Amstel Playwright of the Year Award in 1979 and 1980.

Traditional magic and superstition have always formed an integral part of South Africa's indigenous folktales in which the tokoloshe is a significant manifestation. Even today many rural and urban Nguni peoples, particularly the Zulu and Xhosa, still believe in the power of these mischievous , and sometimes evil , hairy spirits. Interestingly though, the belief in these water sprites has spread to all cultures in South Africa.

Against this background, Professor Pieter Scholtz has set his collection of 12 fantasy tales on the adventures of an engagingly naughtly little sprite named Tokoloshe. Usually invisible to adults, tokoloshes are believed to be fond of children and treat them as friends. These stories, bound to enthral young readers in the nine to 14 age group, are followed by an 'activity' section and a glossary.

The stories are charmingly and imaginatively illustrated by artist Cherie Treweek. Tales of the Tokoloshe will be available at all Adams stores. A review will follow on artSMart shortly.

Pieter Scholtz will be reading from Tales Of The Tokoloshe at Kwasuka Theatre on August 22 at 18h00. Entrance is free and all are welcome, especially children! A limited number of copies of the book will be on sale.




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