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Creative ID: 015

Art form(s): Music, Traditional West African Culture and Music.

Based in: Christchurch.

When I'm available: Available February to May and September to December 2020.

Where I'm available: Happy to travel throughout the South Island.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I have been performing traditional Ghanaian dance and drumming for over 20 years. In 2013 I migrated to New Zealand. After arriving in New Zealand I founded a West African Drum and Dance School. For the past five years, as Artistic Director, I have been facilitating drum and dance workshops for school, community, and corporate clients all over New Zealand. My life-long passion is sharing the love of my culture with people and encouraging them to use music to express themselves joyfully. I love working with children and thoroughly enjoy finding opportunities to share my love of African drumming and dance with Kiwi kids. 

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

  • Invited once a year to teach week-long classes in traditional African drumming and singing, approximately 30 students annually at an Intermediate school in Christchurch from 2016.
  • Full day of classes in traditional African drumming, dancing and singing, approximately 30 students annually at two Primary schools and one Collage three years from 2017.
  • Teaching weekly classes at a University Students' Association during term time since 2016.
  • Annually touring the country giving 1–2 hour full-school workshops and immersive performances involving all students and teachers.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I have had the pleasure of running workshops in schools for four years, from new entrants to high school. I love seeing the kids come alive as they are given permission to express themselves with a drum and encouraged to make as much noise as they want to. Sharing the love of my culture is my passion and I love seeing this joy reflected on the faces of the children as well, as we learn and perform together. The children gain a wealth of knowledge about African culture through dance and drumming, working as a group and working with the rhythms also helps them to focus as individuals. I also run community workshops and family-friendly cultural retreats throughout the country.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

This Creatives in Schools programme provides me the opportunity to immerse myself in one school for an extended period where I will be able to give students a uniquely comprehensive education in the ways of my culture over the extended time period. Students will be able to see improvement in their musical abilities and they will benefit from the increased mental focus that comes with this, it will be my absolute privilege to facilitate this growth.

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