Gilly Southwood is a storyteller, story practitioner, author, educator and facilitator.

She is passionate about inspiring and guiding people to connect with themselves and purposefully navigate life, through the power of stories.

She graduated from Wits with a B Prim Ed Hons in 1984 and travelled to Japan to teach for a few years. When she returned to South Africa, she went on to teach for 17 years at schools in Cape Town. She left the formal classroom at the end of 2002 and has been a full-time professional storyteller ever since.  Over the years, she has honed her craft, written books for Cambridge University Press and in 2009, became a graduate of the International School of Storytelling, UK.


Gilly lives in Cape Town and takes her performances, story work, workshops and presentations into settings as diverse as schools, organisations, conferences and art studios. She performs, teaches the art of storytelling and facilitates workshops across sectors. She uses story and creative processes for personal and organizational development, creativity, change, transformation and healing. She works with teachers, parents, children, young adults, women’s groups and people in organization, exploring what connects us and makes us human. In recent times, she has taken her offerings to online platforms.


Gilly is the founder and creator of Ibalibox a storybox – a dynamic storytelling resource that promotes language acquisition, confidence in speaking and listening, pre-reading skills, reading, comprehension, creative writing and storytelling.  She uses Ibalibox as a stage for stories – from Gr R to the boardroom!


When Gilly is not immersed in stories, you can find her walking in the forests or on the beaches in Cape Town with her family and 2 Schnauzers!