Featured Artists 2021

The Nne Agwu storytelling festival aim to nourish you with first class global storytellers. Look at some of the beautiful artists gathering this summer to captivate your imagination by conjuring the magic and the power of the oral tradition of storytelling. Embrace the gift! 

Best Afrakan Storytellers and Leadership Facilitators

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Award winning Griot Chinyere is an national and international grassroots storyteller, the artistic director for Shanti-Chi and the founder of the Nne Agwu Afrakan Storytelling festival. Her lineage is the griot way, coming from a long line of storytellers, healers, chiefs, historians, soothsayers, She is focused on developing the African storytelling artistry in the UK. She has traveled across Africa, Europe and the Middle East gathering knowledge and experience on the oral traditions. Her performances throughout the world blends her skills as a movement stylist and character actor to tell dynamic and lyrical stories with a wonderful sense of playfulness that makes you part of the story, and reverence for the deeper meaning of spirituality in storytelling. 

 

Griot will deliver 2 master classes on Saturday and Sunday in Afrakan storytelling and the Griot Way applying the techniques of the oral traditions and its role in self actualisation of the melanin rich community. 

Jali Bakary

Jali Bakary Konteh is the son of Dembo Konteand Alhaji Bai Konte'sgrandson, two of the best known Gambian kora players ever. 

Like his forefathers, his exceptional talent gives him both flexibility and musical originality Jali Bakary Kontehis a master of traditional Gambian folk songs with the unique and special Gambian line, which is not heard much these days. As a Griot, Jali Bakary Kontehis also a teacher of music and Griot culture, and an historian, he weaves all these talents into his performance to make it a spellbinding, satisfying and fulfilling experience.

Jali Bakary will run 2 workshops 2 x 1.5 hour drop in workshops on Saturday and Sunday, titled The Kora story and the stories of the Kora. He will perform with Griot Chinyere Theo Callista, Melika Queely and Angie Anderson each evening during the festival. 

Eli Anderson uses the ancient craft of storytelling and drumming to reflect positively upon the critical issues of life. He truly enjoys the opportunity to share this craft through storytelling in a variety of environments where people are seeking intuitive answers to difficult and challenging questions. His unique approach and continued support makes him essential to the Nne Agwu Afrakan Storytelling Festival creative team.

Eli Anderson will deliver 2 x 2 hour workshop daily. One workshop will be tilted: Introduction to storytelling. This will be open drop in workshops ""Introduction to African storytelling", with the emphasis on addressing the question who am I?

The Griot Way ensemble are graduates of the Griot Way training designed and delivered by Griot Chinyere. This year it the training has focused on Igbo storytelling and explored the role of the feminine in spirituality through the exploration of alusi (archetypes) 6 feminine melanin rich storytellers journey along the story.

From right to left: Flavia McDonald, Paula Cameron, Chinyere Onyekwere, Sheda D Felix, Griot Chinyere and Shedihay HatNebMaoo. The storytellers will graduate at the Nne Agwu storytelling family retreat after their premier sharing of telling the story Ezigbo the Orange child, as an essemble. We come to transform the world in honour of ancestors with the stories we tell. 

Olusola Adebiyi AKA Sola Story is a creative facilitator and performance storyteller with an international profile. He is the founder and director of Narrative Mindfulness ltd and co founder of Rebirth of the griot a  monthly Afrakan storytelling and spoken word showcase. When asked why do you storytell? he replies "to paint change making images with compelling narratives inspiring people to believe that the world of their longing of their fond heart's desire is achievable. At Nne Agwu Storytelling family retreat, Sola will be telling stories, delivering mythic medicine: a conceptual modality that mixes storytelling, play, physical storytelling (based on Kazimba Ngoma: Afrakan fighting arts) and multi-arts with mindfulness. "Mythic medicine is mapping the events of our lives through metaphor and story: becoming aware of what the stories mean for us and using mindfulness, movement and other process to relax into acceptance. This seems to increase our receptivity to meaning and our ability to tune in to our intuitive knowing." 

Amantha has developed a passion for storytelling! Working as a storyteller for pre -schools, schools, community groups, events, and festivals. She specialises in African and Caribbean stories and story telling techniques. Her  storytelling style is about engaging the audience in the telling and creating of the tales and shaping the outcome together. I have also performed in theatre in education tours, children's theatre and children's television.

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