Traditional African storytelling brought to life for students

Traditional African storytelling brought to life for students

By Jill Dando News

Year 7 students at Priory Community School Academy in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset were thrilled to end the year with a special interactive performance from //Kabbo Hue Qua Tura.

Starting the session with a lesson on how to pronounce his name in his native South African tongue, //Kabbo engaged the audience from the start, using voice and drum.

His name is spelt with // at the start to represent the click of the //Xam language.

His captivating stories centred around the mischievous antics of Anansi the spider - a special character who originated from Ghana and became a popularised West African phenomenon, still immensely popular today.

Students have been studying a new book in class: 'Freedom 1783' by Catherine Johnson which has proven to be incredibly popular amongst classes.

The story tracks a young boy Nat (of a similar age to the readers) who lives through the Transatlantic Slave Trade and is forced to take the journey to England where he hopes slaves do not exist.

After a battle with some pineapples and a rather nasty character 'Mr Bird' who is liable to peck off the fingers of slaves, Nat escapes and finds his freedom in his new home, England.

English teacher, Sarah O'Gorman, explained, “we wanted to inject more diversity into our curriculum and this book by a British female author centres around one slave's story and allows us to teach about many important historical figures and events'.

“Building on this we wanted to introduce how oral storytelling traditions were so significant for slaves and their descendents who often carried their culture and messages through powerful stories and also to ignite some passion in students!”

Following the exciting workshop with //Kabbo, many students write thank you postcards to him and then garnered their enthusiasm to create their own Anansi stories to tell to their classmates.

//Kabbo Hue Qua Tura is a multidisciplinary artist and cultural activist who offers storytelling workshops, poetry, African mask making and writing.

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