Tuesday, November 30, 2010

LAUNCHING BETWEEN SISTERS: December 4, 2010, Guelph


I am very excited to launch my book "Between Sisters," published in both hardcover and paperback, by Groundwood, House of Anansi Press. The date for my event is December 4, 2010 at 3 Watson Road South at the River of Life International Fellowship, at the intersection of York and Watson Rd South. The time is 3pm-5 pm. This book has been a labour of love and learning for a period spanning two and a half years. I will be talking about the book and my intimate connection to it. I will be selling and signing copies. Please be there to buy your own copy and purchase one for a friend. You will not regret it.
The story is set in urban Ghana, where Gloria, a sixteen year old struggles to find her way forward into the adulthood of her dreams as she is beset with the perennial problems of family poverty, difficulties in school, temptations in town and the true meaning of relationships.
This book is full of the flavours and aromas of Ghana but deal with universal themes that anyone can relate to. It is a step forward in African literature as pertaining to the Young Adult genre and also African Canadian literature. It is definitely well worth reading by youth worldwide and all those who have some interest in Africa, developing countries and the girl child.
Please come and celebrate with me. We have a wonderful program planned to give you a boost for December!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

F.O.O.L. Festival in Toronto; October 23rd 2010

By 8:20 on Saturday morning, we were on our way to Artscape Wychwood Barn, 601 Chrsitie Street. It was a little chilly but at least it was dry. From time to time the sun reinforced its brilliance and warmth. It had been a tough week and I was hoping that I would have the right energy to perform for our audience.
Wychwood Barn was bustlng with the Saturday Farmer's market; food grilling and sizzling, families walking, talking and pushing strollers, and the occassional wheel chair. There was our stand in the middle, nicely decorated with vibrant fabric, for a back drop, rows of chairs and a microphone on a boom. Then I saw my favorite elder urban storyteller, Dan Yashinsky with a coffee cup in hand and a big grin of welcome. We hugged, I hadn't seen him in probably two years when I did a special storytelling night for the Toronto Storytelling Festival with Brad Woods and Great Wooden Trio at the Artscape Wychwood Barns performance theatre. Dan was looking good. I met Gurpeet Chana who was soon going to amaze us with his virtuoso percussive talent. He was very striking in black, from turban to trousers, a handsome man with sensitive hands who could call out percussive sound and emotion from the Tabla and the Hang. Celia Lotteridge Barker came in then, whom I hadn't seen since 2006 when we were guest authors at the Stratford Children's Literary Festival.
At ten o'clock we began. First Gurpeet, next yours truly and the Celia and then Dan. In the audience I recognized, Regina from Brazil, with whom I had performed in 20o6(?) at the auspicious Saturday Concert of the Toronto Storytelling Festival, alongside the amazing Jan Blake. We went with site specific stories, involving food, eating, hunting and cooking. Hodja or Mulla Nasruddin appeared twice, Ananse once and other stories. I also told a snappy story of the 3 Fast men.
We settled into part two with more from Gurpeet, this time on the Tabla. Two young brothers were next, carriers of the torch of the oral tradition in Toronto-wow! Then came spoken word artist, Dahlia Eagle Ellis, the rhythms of whose poetry inspired me. What a precious way to end with more of Gurpeet Chana on the Hang. It is clear that the market, on a Saturday, is a great place to tell stories. Way to go Dan....Dan is storyteller in residence at Artscape Wychwood Barns, keeping an open stall at the Saturday market.

Monday, October 18, 2010

F.O.O.L. Festival of Oral Literature, TORONTO


photo by Amiliah Goodrich

THIS October check out F.O.O.L. the new festival of storytelling. Find out more at:

http://www.foolfestival.ca/artists

I will be performing on Saturday October 23 at 10am ....at the market..
Market fresh storytelling...
very avant guard...
literally singing for my breakfast...
See you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October: The first half

Wow, October is half way through already. I have written the second draft of the first book of a YA series that I am planning for Ghana. I am quite pleased with the speed of that. You've got to love October with the trees in full Fall colours and falling off. The days of a light jacket and a long walk are fast diminishing and you can expect the cold to arrive shortly. October goes into history this year for the incredible rescue of the Chilean miners. And so for me October speaks of hope and breakthrough solutions. I have a lot of work to finish by the end of the month including a trip to Toronto and the FOOL festival which I will be attending and participating in for the very first time. October is always great for the celebrations of birthdays, anniveraries and Thanksgiving, which brought twenty-two people in my home for turkey fun and fellowship.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dance Classes


At last I am able to add a photo of Joie de Vivre...the June Recital. Here we are performing SOFA for our audience.
Dance clases have begun again at the GYMC, 75 Cardigan Street on Mondays at 7:45pm. Next Monday is our third out of the 13 classes of the session, which will end on December 20th. This session we have begun with Kuku/Coucou and Kassa: something easier for beginners, somethng more challenging for the rest. And both are very enjoyable, rhythmic and aerobic.
I welcome back all my continuing dance friends and the new ones who have found us this session. At this point, dance is my only exercise. So dance, Adwoa, dance. Dance for the good of your heart, muscles. ligaments and bones. Dance for your health, but most of all, dance for your soul. My soul says, YES! But what about yours?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Between Sisters, a novel, by Adwoa Badoe


September is here, and the release of my new YA novel, "Between Sisters." published by Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press in hardcover and paperback. The book is an urban coming of age story of a sixteen year old girl, Gloria, in Ghana. The book has been released in Canada and the USA. If it is not on the shelf of your favorite bookshop, then ask them to order in for you. As much as you will enjoy the characters and the story, you will enter into life in Ghana with its rhythms, scents and tastes. Read, read, read. Buy one for a friend.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Since June

photo by Amiliah Goodrich...June 2010 Guelph Multicultural Festival
June 19th...the drum-dance year of Afroculture ended with the recital, "Joie de Vivre", held for families and friends. This performance took place at 3 Watson Rd South, at the premises of River of Life Church. I am told that the joy of the performers was fetching and infectious, and I agree. The fellowship and the laughter, the food and the atmosphere were all I could hope for. Since June 19th, we have also held workshops at the Guelph Multicultural Festival and told stories at The Latitudes Festival, Kitchener. Mostly my attention has been on the FIFA World Cup games and my energy has been spent in writing the roughest of rough drafts for my next novel. Did I say my first (YA) novel will be released in September? I am still witholding its name just a little longer for the sake of mystery.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Ghana Black Stars at the FIFA World Cup.

The Black Stars of Ghana lost on penalties at the FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals in what was a nailbiting event with rousing highs and crushing lows. In the end an almost goal against Uruguay was stopped illegally by Suarez in the 120th minute. The ensuing penalty missed the goal mouth . This missed shot was taken by none other than the darling of the Ghanaians, Asamoah Gyan, the sole striker in an otherwise defensive team. The penalty specialist missed the shot in the crucial moment. Some call it a lapse of focus. I would much rather call it exhaustion and chance, and the factor of human error which is present, and can show up even at the best of times.

Gyan was devastated yet, when called up to do the first penalty shot of he shootout, he scored convincingly. Oh that it had happened earlier! Instead Uruguay won on the back of an illegal act which resulted in a red card. None the less they have gone forward- an oddity of the beautiful game. African and particularly Ghanaian hearts are raw. Everyone is asking why. But our boys have done us proud in their conduct, their play, their discipline and fortitude. They have been committed and classy-not a single red card in the entire competition. And all this for a continent that has been prevented for may years from even thinking that they had a right to dream of the FIFA world Cup. The limits are off. Here we come. Watch out world!!

Ghana Black Stars was the youngest team at the 2010 tournament.

Monday, May 10, 2010

ASABEA OUTDOORED

Saturday May 8th at the GYMC, the girl trickster Asabea was announced and outdoored before the enthusiastic community of Guelph. The performance was very interactive in the African style with songs, drumming, rhythm stories, story call and response. The performers were very animated, vibrant and powerful and the audience very connected and enthusiastic. I am always amazed how these shows turn out once we get going. For the first time, my son Wynne opened for me with a rap tailor-made for show, characters and mother. Three brand new stories of Asabea, two rhythmic stories: rap and call-and-echo, three dances of different styles, Ghana, Guinea and Ivorian, three songs made up a great evening. Hats off to the drummers who undergirded the evening, Chris, Mark, Kathleen and Fule, the Eramosa P.S. drummers, the Adowa dancers, Anita and Edwoba, the Guelph Youth Dance Company, and Jiwani dancers: Rocio and Mary who featured with me. Shout-outs to the tech crew, Rodney, Matthew and Nana, my admin staff, Fule, Ashorkor, Stephanie, Wynne and my great support and canvasser, Maureen.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

World Malaria Day

The day passed by without my hearing a whisper that this day was dedicated to fighting malaria worldwide and particularly in my dearly beloved Sub Saharan Africa. The statistics say 1 million people die a year....what 1 million? I had better recheck the figure. It also says there is a shortfall of 50 million treated bednets, which is the best defence against the mosquito whose bite transmits the disease. The disease is particularly hazardous to infants, young children and pregnant mothers. Is anybody listening? Bed nets cost $6 a day and I'm sure if people knew where to donate they would. The buzz about Malaria Day was not deafening where I live, possibly being a Sunday and all. My attention was piqued when I saw a video circulating of an interview by scientist, malaria specialist, Dr. Opokua Ofori-Anyinam, of Glaxo Smith Kline who was my highschool classmate. Facebook brought me awareness of the news but how do we help?
Several years ago, the late Stephen Alumenda of Zimbabwe and I wrote four stories for a MacMillan Discovery Readers book entitled MALARIA, edited by Jean Conteh. My hope was that the old and the new stories would bring the facts of malaria, self help and awareness to elementary students. But while the buzz of swne flu was incessant and deafening throughout the winter months, barely a peep was heard from our global village symbolized by facebook, where the chatter never ceases.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The First Quarter Rush

My first quarter, 2010 ended in dramatic fashion. All of a sudden..first pages arrived by priority mail...which in fact was the formatted pages of my book for final proofreading. 48 hours of frenzied reading over the weekend, and I understand the next time I see the manuscript it will be a book. Magic! Then Monday returned me to the Guelph Youth Dance Company-(my current inspiration) to choreograph "Asabea." My evening dance class went well and I woke up exhausted for Tuesday and Stop the World at the Guelph Youth Music Centre. Two days of workhops for elementary school groups in African music and rhythm making. We got filmed for local TV to show next week, beginning Friday at 5:30pm after a segment where Arjay is interviewed concerning the Guelph Jazz Festival. Thursday was a treat, teaching Grade seven at NorthWestern- a fun but focussed group of students who re-energized me for our last workshop of the week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Festival of Joy

This week has been full of work and energy, new projects starting, old ones ending. This is life! Surprise dance workshop on Thursday for two hundred student visitors at Centre Wellington, one drum and high ceilings. Everythng was larger than the drum and the microphone but we persevered.
A new choreography is finding its path with 12 kids and one me, at the Guelph Youth Dance Company, all for Asabea's outdooring!
Proofreading Between Sisters, all weekend, preplanning Asabea, for May 8th, but the highlight of this weekend was the rehearsal of the production "The Festival of Joy!"
A simple presentation has morphed into a production because of a small demand placed on me. Mr. Oates said, we want to perform this for our "Theatre for young audiences series." So over the weekend, I wrote the script, putting together three days of workshops into a fun dramatic peiece for young children.
Never underestimate the youth. The dull indifference on day one, has transformed itself into a dynamic and dramatic presentation, showcasing storytelling, drama, dance, drumming, joy, interaction and community which is sure to be a blast. I enjoy directing and I learned from Mr. Oates just how little things dramatically impact a scene. Important key elements in all of this is trust and perseverance and patience. WRITE the VISION and make it PLAIN!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

International Day of Storytelling

Today we were at the Waterloo Children's Museum- downtown Kitchener, to celebrate the International day of Storytelling. We were hosted by Latitudes Storytelling Festival, and did indeed celebrate the hour before dinner with families, telling stories with song and drum.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Old Mill Inn, Spa, Brulee A etc

Yesterday's workshops in Toronto's Old Mill Inn or Hotel were very succesful. But the experience in it's entirety had serious shortcomings. We huffed and puffed our way up and down stairs, laden with equipment with little help. I was grateful for the help of two members of staff who ameliorated what would have been a bad situation. Thank God for "a few good men."
Also I pray the lady who lost her rings found them.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stratford Northwestern

Second workshops at Stratford Northwestern: The polyrhythms have been laid down, one over the other and the dance has progressed but what was most amazing, the storytelling! They owned the story, they TOLD it. Wow. Another thing I learned guitar students make fantastic drummers.

Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day

Sad to say, I didn't celebrate today...too many celebrations from Friday, through Sunday so the day passed with me teaching workshops and my women's dance class. At least I hang out with my favorite women.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

GHANA IS 53 years old.

The country called Ghana was born 53 years ago, delivered out of the womb of colonization. A thick umbilical cord was severed at birth and mother British Empire turned her swollen mammae away in disgust- let this infant fend for herself.

Which she has done, and like Tarzan, often the surrogates she found were, "Oh so wild". Yet willy nilly, she carried on, through the charged passion of her independence, with hope peaking higher than Afajato, through the withdrawal symptoms of megadeals gone awry, one party state, coup d'├ętats upon coup d'├ętats while civillians struggled in vain against the lure of corruption, so much money to dazzle the eyes and dizzy the mind. And the years passed, calendar months were torn of sheets and thrown in the trash.

And inspite of all this, and malaria and malnutrition and barefooted children trudging off to school, there were some who got PhDs, and then were cast adrift along channels of brain drain. And somehow by the great mercies of God, whether through the military or the military turned civillian, inspite of rumours, plans, schemes and machinations; inspite of the lack of comprehensive civil rights, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, imprisonment etc the country has escaped the round of wars which have hit the region like the seasonal hurricanes, one after another, and another and another.

53...we are alive, more of us educated than ever before, away or at home our impact is felt, speaking out louder than ever before. Discovering, oil and more of oil, just at it seemed to be getting out of fashion.
53.... and growing wiser, pragmatic and more compassionate; daring to dream a bigger brighter world where we maintain and upkeep, plan, design and build for the glorious sustainable future...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Third Day at The Stewart School

On this third day of workshops at The Stewart School, Perth, Upper Canada School Board, everything is coming together. The rhythms are holding, the dance movements have definition, the singing is robust and the storytelling is humorous. Today we tried the rhythmic hand-game, and we're just shy of completing cycyle after cycle in perfect sequence and synchronization. An earlier break means we can relax and sort out our business emailing etc. Tomorrow we carry our practice to the stage to prep for our Friday performance. AFRIFEST-IN-SCHOOLS is the name of the celebration. This is an OAC Artist-in-Education project.

Monday, March 01, 2010

McKinnon P.S. "SOAR"

As part of their African Heritage Month and also the SOAR project inspired by Stephen Lewis, we were invited to spend the day teaching workshops at McKinnon P.S. A busy day of activities led to an evening performance by the grade five students for their parents who had supported McKinnon P.S.'s SOAR (Students helping Orphans in Africa with Relief) fundraiser.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seventh Street Junior School

We had a pleasant morning telling stories at this school. With a great welcome from Linda Sutherland we began the program. These students have spent the month reading my book: "The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse Stories," and will be telling five of the stories on Friday at a gathering. I was very honoured to hear this and of course I gave of my best as usual. I hope I set a fine example for storytelling.

Monday, February 22, 2010

University of Guelph

Just one hour of drumming a polyrhythm from scratch= A good feeling and a great bunch of students from the council of Biological Sciences. It had me thinking, "Once upon a time I was a student of human biology." They were very likeable.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade

On my mind today is one of the most compelling topics in the history of human relations, when one race for the purpose of commerce and capitalism was designated as inferior and therefore able to be classified as chattel or movable goods by another race. The unfortunate set of circumstances began with the invention of the Portuguese Caravel under the auspices of Prince Henry the Navigator. Then in 1441 Antao Goncalves captured Adahu the Tuareg and took him to Portugal. In 1445 six ship load of slaves took 200 slaves to Portugal.
The "discovery" of the Americas was the factor which gave the trade a focus and a goal. Europeans wanted cheap labour for agriculture. This was what took slavery, which had always existed, to new heights and new definitions with reference to race and trade. The trade was established by1500 A.D. at 13000 enslaved Africans each year to such numbers as 135000 enslaved Africans each year by 1800s.
The TAST wasalso known as the Triangular Trade because the ships set sail from the great ports of Europe, London, Bristol, Cadiz, Bordeaux, Marseilles for Africa. The slave coast, was that area betwen Ghana and Cameroon. Angola and Congo were also significant places for the trade. The middle journey was the 7-12 weeks it took to sail to the Americas. The last leg of the trade was the return trip to Europe when the ships were laoded with rum and sugar and cotton.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Willow Road

Two presentations at Willow Road P.S., a school we first visited some years ago. We connected with Susan P. who has often directed the Spoken Word space at Hillside Festival. I resurrected the Snake of Venda in addition to some of my season's favorites. Right now I am trusting that plans for our March 6th celebration will advance unhindered.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

African Focus Group Discussion

Today was D-day, and 6pm was H-hour, and I had been planning for two weeks in my busiest month of the year. This year, March will compete strongly and perhaps win over February for presentations. I debuted as facillitator for an African focus group discussing questions on settlement. I found that I enjoyed my part of the meeting and the discussions which jumped from person to person. Once again, in spite of the stresses of finding my group, I have not regretted trying a new thing and I have learned things in the process. The bonus was meeting Anna whose family read my book, "Crabs For Dinner," over and over again while the children were growing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TEMPLEMEAD in HAMILTON

There were two assemblies for Templemead P.S.. The first was for the primary students and the second for intermediates and grade six. This was a school rearing to go, starting from the students we met who were setting up and assisting with sound, and a very savvy MC who introduced us. For this day I resurrected Ijapa the Tortoise and Fanga Alafia. This school has started using the JIG produced interactive DVD, Sankofa: From Fables to Freedom! Wow. No wonder Fanga Alafia was a resounding success!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mansa Kankan Musa

Mansa Musa was the next great King of the old empire of Mali after the founder Sunjata Keita. Mansa ruled from 1307 to perhaps 1332. He was known for expanding the empire to include gold producing lands and important trading centres. He was savvy at governance and a devout Muslim. His spectacular pilgrimage is well documented for the huge entourage of courtiers and slaves as well as the gold he took. In Egypt he was said to have been so generous with his gold that he depressed the value of gold for 12 years therafter. He is known for the urbanization of areas such as Timbuktu, Sankore and Niani where he built great structures of learning, mosques and palaces. Notable among these ae the Hall of Audience in Niani and the university at Sankore. Did he really travel with 60,000 courtiers and 12,000 slaves. And would he give all that gold away? It must be so, because years later stories were being told about Mansa Musa. In 1337 Mali appeared for the first time on a world map, The Mappa Muni of Dulcert. Mansa Musa had put his unusually wealthy empire on the world map for future adveturers, explorers and wealth seekers to chase after.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Planning for a King

Yesterday at 1pm, my friend Rodney and I met new friends in London, Ontario to plan for the visit of a traditional ruler from Ghana, to our part of the world. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we have met, enjoyed good company and great snacks, and set an agenda in motion. Can we really plan a royal visit for three Ontario cities? I suspect we can. It is early days yet but the convener of our meeting, is a very able man.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Laurentian Senior School

It was the third visit to Laurentian Senior School but it had been a while since the last visit. We met staff we had known previously and others who were new to us. In two performances we met the entire school of grade seven and eight students. What a robust time it was. We told of the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman, the great hero of the railroad, who trekked 300 people to freedom from the United States to St Catharines, Canada druring the mid 19th century. We did honour to Lt. Governor Simcoe of Upper Canada, who's law made it possible for the slaves who dared, to escape to Upper Canada against the considerable intimidation of the United States. We told of Ottobah who wrote the very first slave narrative in 1787, and then the humorous story of the Hen and Crocodile. By popular request, we also performed Ananse and the Pot of Wisdom. Whew, what a day. And the students were great, with very able 'screamers' who got us all excited.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sankofa: From Fables to Freedom

Today we met Peggy Hobbs and Joe Gombocz at ETFO Kitchener for a presenation of "Life in Africa." The snacks of pita and humus and selections of Lebanese hors d'ouevres provided by the ETFO went down very well. The tech. misbehaved but Peggy held it down with a smooth discourse of the offerings of our DVD educator produced by JIG productions. Our demonstrations were very well received. If you're a teacher and you're looking for a fun interactive Black History education for primary classes, we have the ideal interactive DVD for you: Sankofa: From Fables to Freedom: Life in Africa.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Alloa at Caledon

An early start to Caledon meant that we could have a Tim Horton's breakfast before arriving at Alloa. We met their very interesting teacher-librarian J. S., who has recently been to Ghana. This school has supported an orphanage and a school in Ghana as well as a theatre group. It was a pleasure to present to them, although two performances would have worked better than one.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

My Book

On this day my book has returned for a few final copy edit suggestions.
My summary of how to write a book is ....creativity, determination, patience and perseverance. I am grateful to God for his grace. There will be great rejoicing from my end when I see it published. Stay tuned for excerpts once this happens in the not too far future.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Northwood P.S.

Two presentations at Northwood School in Mississauga. We were prepared for "Griot's Journey" but we were introduced for "Once Upon an African Village", so we did a bit of both. Our presentation went very well, and we spent the time between performances at Square One, eating breakfast and window shopping. I do recommend the Sears Cafe breakfast. As Fule says, "Real eggs from real hens". Eating eggs may have influenced my choice of telling the "Hen and the Crocodile" to the amsusement of my audience. I have noticed that telling Ottobah's story in the first person, makes some students think I am recounting my own story...LOL!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Black History Month

AFRICA has been home to many empires in antiquity.
3000-2500BC was the period of the Old kingdom of Egypt and with little known of the land of Kush which was growing more southerly about the fifth cataract of the Nile.
1900B.C.-The new kingdom of Egypt grew with Nubia in it's shadow until 748B.C when the kings of this land of Punt or Kush ruled Egypt for about a 100 or 150 years, supplying the pharaohs of the 25th dynasty.

The capital was in Meroe present day Sudan. Hence the black pharaohs.
Also 200-300 A.D. Kush rose over Egypt.

1000BC-Saba grew in the North East where Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yemen are today. The Queen of Saba or the queen of Sheba is said to have visited Solomon. According to the Kabra Nagast, Sheba's son Menelik was fathered by Solomon. Aksum grew in place of Saba, while Kush declined until about 1200A.D. All these kingdoms were trading aound the Nile and the Red sea with Assyrians, Persians, Romans, and Arabs at one period or another.

In the West of Africa, (The Western Sudan also known as Bilad-as Sudan- the land of black people) from about the first century, the Soninke settlements began to grow into a principality and then a kingdom, This kingdom was called Wagadu, but the Arabs erroneously called it Ghana after one of the titles of its kings.

I will write labout Wagadu of which much is known.

Friday, February 05, 2010

GRIOT'S JOURNEY by TWO

Today Fule and I went to St. Ursula School in Brampton. It was our third visit to the school school in four years- a total of six presentations. This time we performed an abridged "The Griot's Journey", an interactive storytelling performance of history with song and dance. We presented in the morning and in the afternoon for the entire school from kindergarten to grade eight. Inspite of the wide age range for both performance, we were extremely well received. I told of Quobna Ottobah Cugoano from his biography, a slave narrative and also of Harriet Tubman, the most daring conductor of the underhground railroad. There is also the little known history of the 1793 bill passed by Lt Gov. Simcoe which enabled the underground railroad. We ended the performance with a folktale and a dance with a rousing school chant. Hey, St Ursula!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

MOHAWK COLLEGE at TIM HORTONS

Yesterday was the second annual Afroculture workshop for the students of Recreation and Leisure Services of Mohawk College at their winter camp. Fule and I gave evening workshops for African drumming and African dance for about 120 students and staff. We were accompanied and supported by Graham our associate from Shaw Percussion. The evening was a blast, starting from the interactive hand game, through the hand drumming experience on the Djembe: You've Got Rhythm, and the Dance workshop: You've got Motion! The challenge was the drive by GPS through every nook and cranny to Brant county, but we got there. On the way home we chose the route and bade the GPS to follow....LOL!!! Highway 24 was a breeze.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Djole, Kpanlogo and proto-Highlife

My dance class is learning the Djole...We are in the fourth week and the energy of the dance has powered our learning. Although the drum song from Guinea is diferent from the kpanlogo drum songs, these two dances are closely related. Djole is higher tempo rhythm, and like most of the Guinean dances more open with larger moves. Yet it carries within itself the more subtle language of Kpanlogo and the very beginnings of proto-highlife.
We begin the dance with the claiming of our turf.....and when in the end we retreat, we do so knowing the territory is marked for us.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Garthwood Park Public School

February 1st and Black History celebrations begin. We went to Garthwood Park P.S. in Mississauga and spent an hour of storytelling, song and dance in an interactive performance assembly. We have decided to incorporate my activities as a drummer this season. Fule says if it ain't broke don't fix it but the artist will keep retelling and creating. February is cold but African History warms it up considerably.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

2010 One Big Thing

This morning I awakened with the thought......"more likely to do a million small things than one big thing." Is this a challenge? It is. So this year I will start one big thing...Oh, my big mouth!!!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010, To God be the glory. Last year saw me at two great conferences, one in Barcelona and the other in Ghana where I presented on Oral literature with short performances. In both places, I got to meet interesting people whose work I intend to follow. I spent several months editing my YA novel, sheduled for publication this year. My hope is to see this released in the first quarter or third of this year. No wonder I am looking forward to this year and this decade.

There are other projects which I hope will sprout up...a medical mission? And I'm hoping to put on a show or may be, two with new stories I have developed for oral telling. In the back of my mind is the furtherance of the work began at the Kibi Elememtary School two years ago and featured on this blog. Here in Guelph, I look forward to the work of the two committees I serve on.
2009 introduced me to the phenomenon of facebook and reconnection with my childhood friends and associates.

2010...Promises to bring my past to catch up with my present for a future of Vision, Mission, Heart, Family, Capacity, Opportunity, and the confluence of my worlds.
Don't be surprised to see posts from the past and the present, from this continent and another, from one sphere of life and another.