Storieman, the Afrikaans version of Story Teller, is arguably the most successful foreign edition. The first ever issue sold 35,000 copies when first published and the whole series has been reprinted several times.
Storieman was first published in 1984 by Leon Rousseau of Rubicon-Press as a 30-part series. It was launched in June of that year at a children’s party held in Leinster Hall, Leon Rousseau’s 19th century home in Weltevreden Street, Tuine, Cape Town. Leinster Hall hosts the Cape Town Club today as well as the Leinster Hall Restaurant.
Everyone will of course remember the “Ping!” that indicated the need to turn the page but South African fans will remember even more the leprechaun. The Afrikaans edition made more use of the happy leprechaun who appeared in every cover, dressed in red pants, green jacket and feathered hat. In the UK edition, the leprechaun was less prominent, appearing only in the contents pages of every issue and on the back page of four of the early issues.
The South African children of the 80s fondly remember Storieman as their door to the wonderful world of stories and was a magical part of their childhood. Writer Maya Fowler even admits that it was Storieman which inspired her to start writing.
In addition to the stories contained in the original UK edition, Storieman featured South African stories such as Uan Hunks and His Pipe, Frits Deelman and the heroic deeds of Wolraad Woltemade and Racheltjie de Beer. The stories were read by celebrities like Sandra Prinsloo, Cobus Rossouw and Verna Vels.
On 12 October 2008, the series was reissued with CDs but only 1000 copies were published, which makes the series a collector item. To celebrate the launch of the limited release, the original guests from the 1984 party, still in Cape Town or in the vicinity, were invited to a small sparkling breakfast in Leinster Hal.
In 2012, Human & Rousseau in collaboration with Leon Rousseau, released a series of six omnibuses compiling the most popular stories from the original series. To decide which stories to include, the publishers sought the opinions of fans.
Here is a playlist of the individual stories on YouTube.