70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Stories from the Sea workshop with Gcina Mhlophe

By: Lucia Zwane

Last week SAAMBR hosted two Stories from the Sea workshops, where we were joined by legendary Mam’Ngcina Mhlophe and her talented daughter Khwezi Becker.

As a scientific organisation, SAAMBR has always shared marine stories through science, but through our research we are understanding that people’s stories and their emotional connection to the ocean are vital when talking about marine conservation. It is this realisation that led to the birth of the Stories from the Sea project. People of different backgrounds all have different stories of the ocean and the workshop allowed us all to share our sea stories.

This project needs someone who is good at storytelling and has a passion for the ocean, and we could think of no better person than the amazing Mam’Ngcina. She hosted the workshops and helped people tell their stories. In these workshops we were joined by various SAAMBR staff who were willing to share their sea stories. It was very exciting to hear people’s personal stories and their connection to the ocean. It was also interesting to hear that each of us has a unique story to tell about the ocean and to realise that we are all connected to the ocean in one way or another.

We will continue to work with Mam’Ngcina and Khwezi throughout the project, as we compile the stories to be used in the aquarium. These Stories from the Sea will be added to the more scientific interpretation in the aquarium as we work towards making the aquarium experience more relatable and relevant for our many visitors.