Praatstok met Balla

Ubuntopia’s Balla at Afrika Festival Hertme 2021

Funga Alafia!

Over the weekend, we participated in Afrika Festival Hertme’s first online festival in the Netherlands!

The sun shone brightly for the better part of Saturday and Sunday, providing the perfect backdrop for the African rhythms, wisdom and culture that wafted through the air in homes across the country. Popularly known for its two-day annual festival which attracts thousands of visitors, Afrika Festival Hertme treated revellers to an impressive programme lineup of entertainment from across the continent.

Our storyteller Balla the Griot performed the old South African legend of Queen Numbi and the White Lions. This legend has been told for many centuries to explain how the first white lions came to earth. No one knows whether this is a true story or not. However, there is evidence that the Rain Queen called Numbi existed. Moreover, the rare white lions still appear today in only one place on earth in South Africa where, coincidentally, the legend originates.

The legend of Queen Numbi and the White Lions is told in comic form in our first book: ‘Balla and the Forest of Legends’ (available in both Dutch and English). The book also features a legend from Kenya, an overarching storyline about the Ubuntopia cast, an Anansi the Spider story and background information about the legends in the book.

As a result of the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the leisure, entertainment and tourism industries, players are adopting innovative ways to connect with their audiences. This year, Afrika Festival Hertme’s organisers successfully brought together Africa enthusiasts for an online event to remember, and we are glad to have been a part of the programme!

If you didn’t catch the festival, you can still watch performances by Balla and some of Africa’s biggest stars via (link):

‘Balla and the Forest of Legends’ and our second book ‘Balla and the Secret of the Source’ are part of a 12-book graphic novella series called The Chronicles of Ubuntopia. The books are available via and our website

Venture into Balla’s Forest of Legends!
Are you organizing a festival, event or (school) project? Balla will take you on an unforgettable journey to his magical Africa! Have your very own voyage as you discover ancient wisdom and African legends that are hundreds of years old. Are you ready?

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