African Tales

African posyer pic shorter 


Tales from under the Tree of Africa

A selection of traditional African folk tales for children between ages 6 and 106

Life laughter wisdom colour and song

– “..a truly unique experience”    “ a class of its own”

These events can last from 3/4 hr to 1 1/4 hrs (or longer).



Traditional African Tales


In The Shade of the Withaak

A tale from Herman Charles Bosman, told by the inimitable Oom Schalk Lourens

This can be between 1 and 2 hours – Mainly for adults (and some kids if need be)


The first stories I ever told were folk tales from Africa,  which have  ever since continued unfailingly to give me and audiences such life, vigour, passion, colour and warmth and also the wonderful humerous tales of one of South Africa’s most exquisite and funny short story writers , Herman Charles Bosman. These tales are full of humour and wisdom and I have always told  them in a very visceral way, with much movement and gesture and characterisation, which is naturally how they arose in me, out of the life force and spirit of the land and peoples I grew up in- the African way.

And there are always some songs, for how could there not be!

Children and adults love these events, and there is always a sense of such life and celebration and gratitude at the end.


“Exploring the folk tales of Africa under Duncan’s expert guidance was truly unique experience. The material itself was spellbinding, but when  conveyed with such dramatic skill and narrative expertise, interwoven with delightful humour, it was unforgettable. One testimony to the success of Duncan visit was the large number of pupils who returned for a “second helping” at the evening performance for the public and parents”  – Gareth David, Teacher, Michael House School

“ To keep 120 small children spellbound for one hour is no mean feat, yet he held the entire department captive. Even now weeks later I hear haunting strains of an African song he taught us coming from the playground. Duncan’s performance helped to motivate the children into a deep spiritual awareness of all that is good true and beautiful.”  – Dorothy Battye Teacher

“ Duncan wove a magic spell transporting over a hundred children to Africa. Everyone listened entranced as Duncan re-lived the wonderfully rich stories in such a vital and lively way, that even the most ordinary statement thrilled the ear. Even now weeks later after the performance, the children remember with enthusiasm how many characters appeared before them and ask about the ‘talking stick’. – Jean Humphreys, Head Teacher, Brunswick School, Sheffield

“ Duncan’s determination to touch the universal human spirit beneath social and cultural differences was warmly felt in his rich, warm, and energetic performances” Gerry Josephson. Educationalist, Sydney, Australia

“Just a note to say thank you very much for your recent storytelling evening here. It was thoroughly delightful! ( The actual words of our retired Waldorf teacher co-worker here were : He knocks the socks off all the other storytellers we have had here”)… I and others greatly appreciated the fact that the stories often had  a finely woven-in moral – giving them an extra relevance without hammering the message.” – Joan Harris Camphill Milton Keynes

“That is the first time I have listened to Duncan’s stories,  and I was blown away!   I just loved every minute of it!” – Sally

“Your presentation was a complete success – the whole age group from 7-13 were utterly riveted from beginning to end, and staff and children alike equally appreciated the excitement and variety of the performance.”  -Headmaster, Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells

“Each audience was entranced by his powerful, dramatic delivery. the stories, although from another world, another time, are so relevant and the discussions that followed showed how ready young children are to accept and appreciate another culture. We look forward to another visit” -Head Teacher, Malcliffe Primary School, Sheffield

 “The performance was quite unexpected and in a class of its own. Why the performance made such an impression was not only the rich imagination, the colourful scenery and the good rapport with the children, but Duncan’s experience of Africa. He was able to identify with his characters in their language, movement, song. Their was a captivating presence which conveyed the essence of Africa at a time when traditional values are fast disappearing.”  – J.M Surkamp, Principle, Ochil Tower Rudolf Steiner School for Children in Need of Special Care, Scotland

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