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Zambezi Puppets

Zambezi Puppets Thank you for visiting! Originally from South Africa, I'm a retired 1st -grade teacher who's been writing and performing puppet shows for children of all ages for more than 30 years.

Elizabeth Norval, a native of South Africa, has been entertaining and educating in a magical manner with her puppets in Africa and the United States since the early seventies. Located in the States since 1990 she has performed for schools, libraries, museums, local charities, and private venues. Her puppet making workshops are very well received and her mission statement is to "educate through fun and audience engagement!"
~Interviewed by D.V.DaPontes

Operating as usual

11/03/2021

I will be performing at the SnowCampCAN Americana Roots Music and Community Festival at 2705 Quakenbush Road, Snow Camp NC. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2021.

01/29/2020
11/03/2019

Elizabeth performs as a puppeteer in an absolutely enchanting manner. Her hand crafted puppets delight and surprise bringing well known fairytales to life. Interactive scripts engage the children and teach them with joy and spontaneity.

Elsa Mondou
Volunteer at the Salvation Army- the Center for Hope

11/03/2019

Homeschool Explorers, a secular homeschool group in Raleigh, had the pleasure of being educated and entertained by Elizabeth Norval and her Zambezi Puppets this fall. Children and adults alike were fascinated by her personal stories and authentic African artifacts. Her puppet show, “Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe,” gave us a glimpse into another culture, while delivering the positive message of striving to be a reconciliator; an important lesson for all of us. Elizabeth’s wealth of knowledge about South Africa and Zimbabwe, combined with her rich storytelling and beautifully crafted puppets, kept even the youngest in our group captivated for well over an hour - an impressive feat! The kids were even interested in the workings of her theater, asking about everything from how to manipulate multiple puppets to how to raise the curtain, and were delighted to be given a peek behind the scenes to where the magic happens! We couldn’t be happier with our experience!

Dana Kreykes
Home School parent

10/19/2019

"Elizabeth performs as a puppeteer in an absolutely enchanting manner. Her hand crafted puppets delight and surprise, bringing well known fairytales to life. Interactive scripts engage the children and teach them with joy and spontaneity."
Elsa Mondou wrote this review after she saw the Zambezi Puppet show, Little Red Riding Hood, which l performed at the Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope on October 15, 2019.

Peter Rabbit will be appearing in a birthday show on Saturday.
09/23/2019

Peter Rabbit will be appearing in a birthday show on Saturday.

The children at Cary Towne KinderCare were very engaged with my presentation. They loved the puppet show.
08/19/2019

The children at Cary Towne KinderCare were very engaged with my presentation. They loved the puppet show.

I used a hat as a stage to perform an excerpt from "Munyaradzi Goes To School in Zimbabwe" at the Puppeteers of America ...
08/04/2019

I used a hat as a stage to perform an excerpt from "Munyaradzi Goes To School in Zimbabwe" at the Puppeteers of America International Festival.

Birthday party show for a six year old on August 4-  was a lot of fun!
08/04/2019

Birthday party show for a six year old on August 4- was a lot of fun!

The story of “Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe” never ceases to delight audiences both young and old. A sweet tale,...
06/24/2019

The story of “Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe” never ceases to delight audiences both young and old. A sweet tale, it is about two rural Zimbabwean children, the adults who love them, and a cranky and dangerous ostrich.
Today, Zambezi Puppets is delighted to perform (by kind invitation) for folks attending the adult day program of the Ruth Sheets Adult Care Center (Edenton Street United Methodist Church) here in Raleigh, N.C., at 3:30 PM!

Zimbabwean puppeteer and school teacher, Elizabeth, arrived in Gainesville, Florida in 1990 with her entomologist husban...
05/06/2019

Zimbabwean puppeteer and school teacher, Elizabeth, arrived in Gainesville, Florida in 1990 with her entomologist husband. Once they had settled, she joined the University of Florida Women's Club. Although Elizabeth had taught in Africa for nine years, her qualifications were not recognized in the USA. The ladies at the UF Women's Club encouraged her with her puppetry, and they also urged her to begin the journey to obtain her BA. "Just start, Elizabeth," they said. So she did -and graduated in '95 with Honors. The adorable Gulliver Gator was created in part to acknowledge the contribution of these generous ladies. He celebrated birthdays with the children she taught in Gainesville. When he was moved to Raleigh, N.C., he delighted (and continues to delight!) children at her school (and now, at other venues), with hugs and birthday pats -one for each year of life the child was celebrating. In this photo, Gulliver travelled with Elizabeth to celebrate the festive season of 2018 at the Veterans for Peace Concert in Gainesville, FL. He was happy to be home for a while!

On Friday, January 25th, the Upper Elementary One class at The Montessori School of Raleigh was delighted by an instruct...
02/15/2019

On Friday, January 25th, the Upper Elementary One class at The Montessori School of Raleigh was delighted by an instructive and fun session of information about the African country of Zimbabwe. By invitation, Elizabeth Norval was the guest speaker. She entertained the students with Zimbabwe history, politics, traditions, handmade artefacts, and an animated puppet show that recounted the story of a sweet little boy and girl (not forgetting a cranky and dangerous ostrich) and their everyday rural struggles.

More than 25 students (not forgetting the teachers, who were also mesmerized), listened and watched with rapt attention and happily applauded, as Elizabeth did a fantastic job!

In the aftermath, she invited students and teachers alike to make a donation to Dare to Share Zimbabwe, (www.sharezim.org).
Dare to Share Zimbabwe is a non-profit organization devoted to providing children and families with educational, social, physical, and economic opportunities.

Want to include an alternate and fun learning experience like ours into your school, library, or other social or party function? Please contact us! We love to entertain!
Photo Credit: Alyssa McCain

Elizabeth, with Gulliver the 'Gator, as she captivated the children at Bill and Bett's  20th holiday bash which was held...
12/11/2018

Elizabeth, with Gulliver the 'Gator, as she captivated the children at Bill and Bett's 20th holiday bash which was held in Raleigh.
"If you can walk you can dance! If you can talk you can sing!" ~ Old Zimbabwe saying.🎶 Happy Holidays, to everyone from Zambezi Puppets! ✨

We are HERE! Come on down! Witch and Bat and all sorts of creatures are ready to spook you!
10/27/2018

We are HERE! Come on down! Witch and Bat and all sorts of creatures are ready to spook you!

We LOVE Read With Me, A Children's Book & Art Shop !🦇🧙‍♀️🎃 Please register to join us with your children (suitable for c...
10/26/2018

We LOVE Read With Me, A Children's Book & Art Shop !🦇🧙‍♀️🎃
Please register to join us with your children (suitable for children ages 3-10)! We promise to intrigue them with a spooktacular time as they delight to the antics of our wacky witch and her mischievous broom, and then yet another tale of a wayward bat and two mystified children! 🦇🧙‍♀️🎃

Zambezi Puppets have a Spooktacular show planned for you this Saturday at 10am. Get tickets on our website!

Just two of our puppets in waiting who are set to delight the little ones this coming Saturday, Oct. 27th at 10AM, as th...
10/24/2018

Just two of our puppets in waiting who are set to delight the little ones this coming Saturday, Oct. 27th at 10AM, as they perform with their troop of fellow spooky characters, and one very wayward broom! Please join us at Read With Me, A Children's Book & Art Shop !
#DianaVeraPhotos

We are in rehearsal for our upcoming performance at Read With Me, A Children's Book & Art Shop this coming Saturday the ...
10/24/2018

We are in rehearsal for our upcoming performance at Read With Me, A Children's Book & Art Shop this coming Saturday the 27th at 10 AM! Two tales of spooky fun and mystery to delight the little ones! Come and join us for laughter and intrigue! 🦇🧙‍♀️🎃

Join us for a SPOOKtacular Puppet Show this Saturday at 10am! Zambezi Puppets will give us a delightfully spooky performance. Pre-register on our web calendar or in-store. Ages 3+, $10 (discounts for multiple children & groups). https://www.readwithme.us/calendar
#liveperformance #puppetshow #halloween #downtownraleigh #dtr #readcreaterepeat

Elizabeth, having had a wonderful time at  LEAF Community Arts as a puppeteer and as an audience member attending the fe...
10/24/2018

Elizabeth, having had a wonderful time at LEAF Community Arts as a puppeteer and as an audience member attending the festivities,
-would like to thank whomever it was who captured these fun moments in time!

And charming, bumbling, Mr.Womble ( who is also, quite excited!) will be by Elizabeth's side at Leaf's Puppetry Theater ...
10/17/2018

And charming, bumbling, Mr.Womble ( who is also, quite excited!) will be by Elizabeth's side at Leaf's Puppetry Theater (LEAF Community Arts ) this weekend ( starting Thursday) enchanting the little ones with his escapades and fumbling! Don't miss it if you are attending! 😀
#DianaVeraPhotos

10/16/2018

Heading to the Leaf Community Lake Eden Arts Festival (theLeaf.org) to be a part of the Puppetry Village. I am excited!

Our most cherished reviews from "Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe.”
03/16/2018

Our most cherished reviews from "Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe.”

Setting up for our puppet show @ 11AM
01/15/2018

Setting up for our puppet show @ 11AM

The puppet show will be "Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe"! A wonderful story of courage, friendship, and how impor...
01/08/2018

The puppet show will be "Munyaradzi Goes to School in Zimbabwe"!
A wonderful story of courage, friendship, and how important it is not to annoy an ostrich! Held on a holiday Monday ( Martin Luther King Day ) it is a wonderful presentation about a beautiful country that has been in the news recently! Great for ages 4 to adult! Please preregister with Read With Me on their website. readwithme.us

New Year's Resolution- See a Puppet Show! Join Zambezi Puppets for a special performance Monday 1/15 11am. Enjoy an insight into the culture, social customs, language and food of the country of Zimbabwe. Pls preregister on our website. readwithme.us

Join Zambezi Puppets for a special performance Monday 1/15 (Martin Luther King Day - a holiday)  @11am. Enjoy an insight...
01/08/2018

Join Zambezi Puppets for a special performance Monday 1/15 (Martin Luther King Day - a holiday) @11am. Enjoy an insight into the culture, social customs, language and food of the country of Zimbabwe. We would love to have you attend! Please preregister with Read With Me on their website. readwithme.us

New Year's Resolution- See a Puppet Show! Join Zambezi Puppets for a special performance Monday 1/15 11am. Enjoy an insight into the culture, social customs, language and food of the country of Zimbabwe. Pls preregister on our website. readwithme.us

Elizabeth Norval, with Tendai and Munyaradzi ! Photo Credit: #DianaVeraPhotos
11/21/2017

Elizabeth Norval, with Tendai and Munyaradzi !

Photo Credit: #DianaVeraPhotos

The Zambezi Puppets will be performing at the Richard B. Harrison Library on New Bern Avenue  (in Raleigh) at 6:30 PM, O...
10/30/2017

The Zambezi Puppets will be performing at the Richard B. Harrison Library on New Bern Avenue (in Raleigh) at 6:30 PM, October 30th. The Witch is in search of her Broom! Will she get to the pre-Halloween Party!? See Snakey swallow slithery critters! Perfect for children ages 3 to 9 years old. It's interactive!

Witchy Wanda awaited her broom repair and beauty makeover; needed to look her best so she could do good hex @LeafArtsFes...
10/26/2017

Witchy Wanda awaited her broom repair and beauty makeover; needed to look her best so she could do good hex @LeafArtsFestival! #dianaveraphotos #EventHappyPuppets

Just some of the delightful puppets who took a bow at the Leaf Festival! Witchy Wanda and her new broom, not forgetting ...
10/26/2017

Just some of the delightful puppets who took a bow at the Leaf Festival! Witchy Wanda and her new broom, not forgetting Bat Bitten and some magical creatures! And of course no children's puppet show is complete without Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf who does not die! #dianaveraphotos #EventHappyPuppets

Zambezi Puppets is delighted to once again be part of the Festival children's entertainment lineup!
10/11/2017
Fall 2017 LEAF Festival lineup announced

Zambezi Puppets is delighted to once again be part of the Festival children's entertainment lineup!

The fall 2017 lineup for the 45th Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) was announced on Wednesday.The Fantastic Voyage-themed festival will be headlined by Toots & the Maytals and Los Lobos. Other performers include Elephant Revival, Turkuaz and Nik West.This f

09/14/2017
Zambezi Puppets Birthday Party Show

There is nothing as engaging as an audience of children delighted by puppets!
On Sunday, Sept.3rd, Zambezi Puppets performed for a young lady and her friends.
If you are in need of a laugh that will remind you that we are all still children at heart, take a few minutes out of your day and have a chuckle! A sweet lady giraffe teaches a prideful lion a lesson,
and a bespectacled professor learns that all snakes aren't harmful, but that all snakes are always hungry!
Elizabeth Norval's bashful friend, Gulliver Gator, gave the birthday child and her friends some very special attention that ended with hugs and glee!
Thank you for watching. We hope we have made you smile!

http://www.zambezipuppets.com Zambezi Puppets Children's Birthday Party Show in Raleigh NC

A few of the many puppets we have to hand to entertain the little ones! Batty Battbitten bat is particularly clever and ...
09/02/2017

A few of the many puppets we have to hand to entertain the little ones! Batty Battbitten bat is particularly clever and feisty and seems to want to get into everything the moment he is out of the box. Getting them all to sit still for a moment or two was not easy. Monkey Do had to bite Dino because Dino likes to eat everything in sight!
#dianaveraphotos #EventHappyPuppets

We are in final rehearsal for an upcoming birthday party for a sweet young lady who will be celebrating her special day ...
09/01/2017

We are in final rehearsal for an upcoming birthday party for a sweet young lady who will be celebrating her special day with family and friends at the Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship - Raleigh, on Sunday after service. The puppet stage is set ( we set up the theater last night after choir practice) and the puppets are starting to wiggle and chatter with each other in anticipation! Shumba and Twiza ( lion and giraffe in the language of Shona of Zimbabwe) are very excited (Twiza was caught teasing Shumba unmercifully last night before bedtime), and Gulliver Gator is preparing for his close up! Snaky (not forgetting the bugs) is being shy today, perhaps they are conserving their energies. It takes a lot to be creepy! We are SO looking forward to creating magic! 🤣❤️

We are THRILLED to have reached 100 followers! Thank you so much!
08/30/2017

We are THRILLED to have reached 100 followers! Thank you so much!

A special THANK YOU! back to The Grove School of Cary, N.C for the invitation to preform and entertain such enthusiastic...
08/22/2017

A special THANK YOU! back to The Grove School of Cary, N.C for the invitation to preform and entertain such enthusiastic preschoolers with my sneezing lion (who made them laugh uproariously ) and the thoughtful giraffe. The children learned about the right way to sneeze, carefully ! They also learned about Africa, how a little girl helps a little boy lose his fear of being bullied, and how dangerous an ostrich can be and the magic of friendships.

A special THANK YOU to The Zambezi Puppets for a WONDERFUL morning!!!!

Address

Raleigh, NC
27610

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 8pm
Sunday 8am - 8pm

Telephone

(919) 834-9049

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Our Story

Elizabeth Norval, a native of South Africa, has been entertaining and educating in a magical manner with her puppets in Africa and the United States since the early seventies. Located in the States since 1990 she has performed for schools, libraries, museums, local charities, and private venues. Her puppet making workshops are very well received and her mission statement is to "educate through fun and audience engagement!" ~Interviewed by D.V.DaPontes

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Please join us as we wonder just how our favourite witch is going to find her wayward and persnickity broom! 🎃👻