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Oral Storytelling and Creative Writing with Martha Spark

My name is Martha Onyilokwu from Nigeria, a second year Masters student in the SEMA program at Tallinn University .

Although I hold a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Engineering I have always had a passion for Arts and Creativity. Growing up, I came from a society where children and youths were not encouraged to embrace their creativity, as there was little to no knowledge in knowing the full potential creativity holds in the society. I started to fully embrace my creative side after I got my first degree and this is why I want to empower people from similar backgrounds on the potential of Creativity and Arts in today's world. My passion is entirely focused on creative writing together with storytelling, and in the past I have worked with several small writing organisations and groups of creative writers, to create, establish and promote their works through Instagram.

While I'm a social entrepreneur by day, by night you can find me writing stories and publishing poems online, and this is the reason why I have decided to create a project that would be focused on empowering writers especially from developing countries. My project is currently targeting Nigeria and some countries in West Africa where this platform would connect with the local writers and storytellers to support, build and market their works to digital audiences worldwide.

Every human culture in the world seems to create stories as a way of making sense of the world.

Oral story has been around for ages and it is a tradition that been used as a performance of art in several cultures. This act which involves the interaction between the story teller and the audience has been around and practiced for over 50,000 years.

In Africa, both during the ancient era and the current modern society the practice of oral story telling is quite rich as through out the ages, oral stories has been used to preserve cultural experiences, beliefs, social values, wisdom and also passing them from one generation to another. Also throughout history, it has been severally noted that adult educators, people in power and ancient scholars like Aesop, Plato, Jesus of Nazareth have used stories to , connect and communicate with learners and audience of various backgrounds. This was also true in pre-literary Nigerian societies, where storytelling was used as a means of educating, preserving oral traditions, and transferring cultural norms to indigenous peoples.

Today in developing countries and digital societies, there is a high rise for the need of good story tellers among the crowd as the strong sense of emotional appeal and personal experience that is incorporated into storytelling makes it an appealing method in adult learning, and instruction.

Furthermore, story telling has taken over the major parts of the entertainment and the educational aspect of the society. It motivates learners, as well as helps them access, express, and retain information and knowledge.

Digital technology when incorporated into the act of story telling and creative writing, will provide an endless support to oral culture within the society. This project will support the transformation and preservation of the oral story telling into the digital world at the same time, promoting , supporting, improving creative writing and creativity at large, as they go hand in hand.

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