Nothando Zulu | Theater

nothando zulu resize.jpg
nothando zulu resize.jpg

Nothando Zulu | Theater


Well-known storyteller and local legend Nothando Zulu has reached thousands with her lively and engaging storytelling style since she started performing in 1977. As a child she was telling traditional tales in her school in Virginia at the age of 8. Her stories truly bear witness to her rural, southern background. She performs for all ages and sizes of audiences, big or small.

Years of performance earned Nothando the distinguished title of a Master Storyteller, and her skill and technique shines clearly as she captivates audiences. She is the President and Director of Black Storytellers Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining the oral storytelling tradition as practiced by African people in the Diaspora.

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Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs


History Personified

Learn about African and African-American personalities, their lives, their contributions, their time, and their place in history. Choose the people or the history you would like to hear about or have Nothando choose appropriate stories based on your needs.  The figures are: Fannie Lou Hamer (Civil Rights), Rosa Parks (The Montgomery Bus incident) and 100 year old Dewbert Thomas who talks about segregation, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Black Power, Church and family.


Tales of Trickery & Wit

Nothando recreates colorful characters from African and African-American folktales in this lively performance. Sing a greeting song in Swahili and participate in call and response throughout the performance. Be captivated by the South African story of how a boy and his father defeat the fearsome Abiyoyo the Giant. Listen and laugh along to the adventures of West African trickster Anansi the Spider, or Brer Rabbit, a trickster common in African-American folktales in the South. Witness how stories communicate important lessons on life, family and community.



Artful Aging. Stories! Stories! Stories!

Nothando Zulu is a Master Storyteller who has engaged audiences for over 40 years.  Nothando worked for over 5 years with Senior Resources on the North side of Minneapolis and 13 years with Ruth Hawkins YWCA of north Minneapolis.  When working with seniors Nothando is able to evoke laughter through her re-creation of commonly shared life scenes with life’s nuances that they fondly recall as she tells stories of the wisdom and the foibles that result in the lessons of life.  Nothando incorporates the African style of storytelling in which she may use herself or an animal as an example of a point or moral.  In all of this she continuously engages audience members with lots of leading questions to flesh out the stories and add vibrancy.  As is often the case, memories stir up laughter and that laughter is used to form even the most difficult past experiences of the stories of life.  More often than not, there is strong bonding between her and the seniors with whom she has worked during these interactions; heck, she’s a senior herself!


Stories! Stories! Stories!

Stories of the gone days and the now days; stories of family and friends; of small towns and community and Miz Choomby… what?  You don’t know Miz Choomby?  You will when we come together to share our stories: remembering them, putting clothes on them before telling them and sometimes even acting them out with each other.


Note: Materials and mileage costs may also apply.