What’s Your Story: The Campaign

What’s Your Story: The Campaign

We live in a country where suspicion, fear, prejudice and racism plague us daily. The growing sentiment seems to be anti-black, anti-white, anti-rich, anti-poor, anti-foreigner … in fact anti-everyone who is not like us or threatens our comfort. We have a trust deficit that affects the quality of our relationships with others and hinders us from getting to know each other better.


What if suspicion, fear, prejudice and racism were replaced by understanding, respect, love, acceptance and trust? What if South Africa became a place renowned for our ability to know each other and care about each other’s stories?


We cannot allow the scourge of prejudice, racism and mistrust to derail our dream of being a reconciled nation. For us to break down the things that divide us we need to understand better the people we interact with on a daily basis. Understanding builds trust.


At Heartlines, the Centre for Values Promotion, we believe in the power of personal storytelling to create understanding and, ultimately, trust. We believe this will ultimately break down prejudice and reconcile us to each other.


Enter What’s Your Story?, a story-based initiative to promote trust, understanding and greater social cohesion.

Watch the What’s your Story promo video.


We believe that personal storytelling can be achieved in 3 easy steps:
Ask. Listen. Tell.


By asking, listening and telling each other our stories we can break down suspicion, mistrust and the misconceptions that divide us. As we make this a habit, we can build the South Africa we long for, one story at a time.


When we listen to each other’s stories, we begin to see the human being behind the “other’s” race or ethnicity and realise how similar we are. Best practice with regard to attitude and behaviour change shows that stories are the most effective change agents, as they impact on people both emotionally and intellectually. Hearing another’s story opens up the potential for reconciliation, mutual respect and understanding.


Will you join the storytelling revolution?



Four pillars of What’s your Story?

1.  The film, Beyond the River
Inspired by true events, this is the nail-biting story of two men from different backgrounds whose quest to win gold connects them on and beyond the river. Regarded by some critics as “the most spectacular South African cinema experience of our time!” Beyond the River is the film to kickstart a culture of personal storytelling.

The film releases in cinemas nationwide on 27 April 2017.
2. Resources on personal storytelling
Easy-to-use resources to empower you to share stories in various contexts, such as at church, bible study or small groups, youth groups, high schools, campus or in your workplace. These resources include DVD stories of inspiring individuals.


3. Leadership engagements
Two-day offsite engagement for leaders of a particular sector who work together to overcome a specific challenge within their sector. Find out more about Bridge leadership engagements.


4. Online platform
Read, listen to and watch the stories of ordinary people making an extraordinary impact in our nation. www.whatsyourstory.online


To find out more or to get involved in What’s your Story?, email us whatsyourstory@heartlines.org.za


9 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    October 05, 2016

    My name is Brighton Muresherwa from Zimbabwe. I read with enthusiasm and excitement about this great initiative.

    I the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood with SA playing an influential and critical role as a regional leader in many regards I will be very much grateful if on top of 10million stories from within SA you could also put into consideration having maybe 1million stories from southern Africa or beyond.

    SA being the rainbow nation I know and being a country so highly regarded by so many myself included also including our stories would give that complete picture of the regional and continental giant that SA is.

    Your consideration would be greatly appreciated. We love SA your country has saved many and still does like no other African country.

    Kind regards.


    • Avatar
      October 31, 2016

      Dear Brighton

      Wow – we are encouraged and inspired by your feedback and your suggestion.
      While What’s your Story was birthed in SA, it’s not only an initiative for SA. As you know, this country is home to thousands of brothers and sisters from all parts of the world.

      So, please, submit those inspiring stories from Zimbabwe via the site: whatsyourstory.online
      And help us spread the word from SA all the way to Cairo – and beyond!

      The Heartlines team


  2. Avatar
    October 13, 2016

    Being a young black South African woman who grew up in a dysfunctional family, with no father and an alcoholic mother, my only dream as a young child was to have a teddy bear and a bed to sleep on. I told myself education was my only way out even though I was not the cleverest child in school, I was mocked at and bullied therefore I was always withdrawn and never participated. Somehow I felt that education was my only way out of my misery, to improve my living conditions, and my family’s. I have learnt to turn threats into opportunities for myself and those around me. I stayed true to my values even though I was not aware what those were at the time, I strived through it all and still do, I am currently a certified Transformational Coach and Facilitator who helps people realize their potential to live authentically in their purpose for being. My brand new social business is aimed at bringing hope to the hopeless, inner transformation to those who do not know how to connect with themselves, motivation to those who have lost resilience. I’d love to serve those who could never be able to pay for personal development and coaching services and yet be inspired to dream again and thrive at life! I’d love to share my story! Blessing,


    • Avatar
      October 31, 2016

      Hi Busi

      We are so inspired by how you’ve persevered through hardship and various challenges! We also salute you for your passion for education and for staying committed to your values.

      Please submit your story for review on our site: whatsyourstory.online

      We look forward to hearing from you!

      The Heartlines / What’s your Story team


    • Avatar
      November 06, 2016

      Hi Busi, we share a lot in common..plz connect with me at info@zanoncedo.org


  3. Avatar
    April 24, 2017

    Hi there,
    I’m listening to you now on Algoa FM and learning about your What’s your story initiative. It’s really tugging at my heart strings right now.

    I am literary coach, storyteller and bibliotherapist in training. How can I get involved with your initiative and be of service as a facilitator or a trainer perhaps?

    I am currently situated in Wilderness travelling to Cape Town every second month. I’ve started offering true storytelling sessions here in Wilderness. I’ve also worked for TEDx as a storyteller where I made a short film. This is a little bit of my experience that might be of value to you. For a more elaborate breakdown, please do get in touch with me.

    Vilien Coetzee


    • Avatar
      April 24, 2017

      Thank you for making contact and for the inspiring work you are doing. Thank you also for your interest in What’s your Story.
      Someone from our team will be in touch within the next week. If you have not heard back from us please give us a call on the office line.


  4. Avatar
    May 03, 2017

    I have to agree that I still have lots of prejudices which will take time to improve but after seeing BEYOND THE RIVER I was shocked beyond limits because it was the first timeI had seen how people live in settlements.IT was really so sad and makes me even more disgusted with the RAMPANT abuse of public funds by govt.However being anIndian I have and still do experience severe prejudice in terms of my own career so its really so sad because no one has really won in this vicious battle


    • Avatar
      May 23, 2017

      Breaking down prejudice begins with understanding; walking in the shoes of others and getting a glimpse into their world and lives.
      We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas of what else we all can do in our “small corners” to build our beautiful country.


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