Featuring: Nothando Zulu
Powerful Leader; Visionary; Generous Mentor
Nothando Zulu remembered to reach out and serve in the art of storytelling for over 50 years. She and her husband, Vusi, attended their first National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS) Festival in 1990. With the ideas flowing, they started a state-level affiliate to NABS While she was known in the Minnesota area named Black Storytellers Alliance (BSA). Nothando’s influence quickly crossed beyond borders and lands.
Even before creating Black Storytellers Alliance, she already had gathered like-minded individuals at the University of Minnesota to bring black theatre with minimal to no props and sets in the community in 1976. This later transformed into theatre to storytelling itself. Thus, it was natural for Nothando to continue to run events for BSA such as Signifyin’ and Testifyin’ or the annual Black Master Storyteller Festival (coming up September 28-30, 2023).
Her stories ranged to those of Anansi and the moss-covered rock, the once-best-friends of dog and cat that changed over cheese, a tree with a name that needed to be spoken to benefit the starving animals, and so many more. She shared with great energy and bliss to those who sat, stood, or danced while listening.
Her legacy? Her legacy ranged much deeper and even more encompassing. So many stories are being posted online from people – from the GoFundMe page for the Zulu family due to her passing to Facebook posts to many more odes to come.
What can be said more than all these message of love? Nothando Zulu’s stories will forever be told. She is truly a powerful and compassionate person who is still telling stories beyond this earth time.
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You can see more details on Nothando Zulu with the Story Artists Memorial.
The video below is the 1st of 4 parts. While she starts each part with the same welcoming song “Jambo,” each one video features different stories told by Nothando Zulu.
Do you know a Story Artist who has passed on and want others to remember them? Memories? Pictures? You can submit names and memories of Story Artists who have passed on through our online form.
I appreciate Nothando Zulu. Anyone who can gather and mentor and give…priceless. Her commitment to others is the same as to the commitment to the stories she told. Unrelenting. Death does not stop this commitment. It continues.
Nothando Zulu still has a story. You have a story. We all have stories.