STORYTELLING EVENING with FRANCIS MWINGA
25 March 2021
A performance in Subiya and siLozi.
Produced by the National Theatre of Namibia.
Funded by the National Arts Council of Namibia.
The online show brought revered Namibian Storyteller and Praise Poet, Francis Mwinga to host a storytelling evening in Sibuya and siLozi. Virtual and physically attending audiences experienced an evening of praise poetry and song echoing the value systems and customs of maSubiya.
Born in 1964, Francis Mwinga is a performer and praise poet based in Katima Mulilo, Namibia. The artist previously worked as a Literacy Promoter, and served in the Namibian Police Force until his retirement.
Mwinga was mentored by his grandmother Ms. Kawana Koongwa who saw his growing interest in traditional stories from an early age. His training continued under Mr Kuyengwa Sipopa in Zambia, where he was trained in siLozi oral traditions which involve serenating nature and community leadership, and transmitting valuable lessons.
Upon returning to Namibia from Zambia in 1978, Mwinga’s uncle, who was a senior headman at Bukalo traditional headquarters, witnessed his talent and promoted it in the community. His uncle taught him Subiya poetry grounded in spirituality, the environment and communal systems. Since 2004, Francis Mwinga has been entrusted as the praise singer for Chief Liswani III for significant Subiya cultural occasions.