"We use the power of story telling through the spoken word, the written word, non-verbal expression, in English, in French, in British Sign Language, in nature and in Fun to stretch the imagination, provoke thought and deepen innerstanding. Many of us neglect the importance of “story” to nurture our spiritual strength, form our thoughts, paint our visions and focus the creative mind to achieve our goals. It’s all about keeping magic alive!" Griot Chinyere.
Greetings Griot Chinyere
I have experienced your amazing vitality and gifted story telling at the recent Day of the Goddess (Sunday 20th March 2011). I cannot even begin to express how uplifting and inspirational I found the whole experience, your story telling and vibrant personality stood out for me. Thank you for your contribution in making the Day of the Goddess such a wonderful experience.
Blessings Aziza Kilmister
Emma Bending (Sutton Hse)
Community Engagement & Learning Officer
Hi Griot Chinyere,
Hope you’re well. Thank you again for such an excellent session with the Elders – they responded really well and that’s testament at how excellent a storyteller and facilitator you are!
All the best,
Testimonial 23/02/2013 - For whom it may concern:
Chinyere Nwaubani is employed by Entelechy Arts as a member of our skilled team of Associate artists. Entelechy works with some of society’s most excluded and marginalised citizens. We work with a range of groups including: People of all ages including learning disabilities; young people who have long –term health conditions and complex disabilities; adults who have profound and multiple disabilities; older old people who have age-acquired or other disabilities.
Chinyere has been a lead artist with us for 10 years, developing our programme of work with older old people, and cross-generational events. She facilitates weekly workshops in storytelling, poetry and movement, enabling frail elders across cultures and abilities to develop their own voice, creativity and agency. Her work takes place in our outreach programme at Deptford Mission day centre and also Cinnamon Court.
She manages very complex groups where there are older people with dementia or physical disabilities, across very different cultures, together with Deptford mission’s young volunteers who may have autism or a learning disability.
She also works with our team on major theatre events and 21st Century T dances at venues such at the Albany, or a Lewisham Cultural Olympiad show in a Spiegel tent on Blackheath. Her role as part of our team is to support audience development, safety, and host audiences who are cross generational; supporting people to perform and ensuring frail elders are comfortable. We have also commissioned her to lead master classes in African Gryiot story telling for our own artists CPD and for the Age well fun well Caribbean pensioners club, which was a huge success.
Chinyere brings to our work a deep, skilled and ethical understanding of the role that storytelling and creative group work can have for older people’s well-being and their contribution to their local community. She is an amazing listener and enables frail elders to feel safe and supported to explore new things and feel valued. She is a highly experienced theatre maker and workshop facilitator who is able to support the shyest member of the group into their authority. Her expertise involves visioning, designing and structuring new work based on the authenticity of the older peoples own ideas and choices. She enables people to make their own creative choices. The older participants and adults with learning disabilities have absolute trust in her work. She comes from a place of absolute integrity.
She is very dependable in terms of health and safety; practical and very caring when supporting frail elders to walk or get up to dance, or move in their wheelchairs. In large events she is often the first one to notice the needs of others, if an older person is uncomfortable or thirsty, or if they would like to get up and sing a song in the floor spot. She is exceptionally skilled at integrating children into creative encounters with older people, establishing an ecology of respect to one another. She works incredibly well as part of a team or when she is the only facilitator.
Chinyere’s work is solid and sound, with a genuine commitment of creating a sense of community that holds the best interests of participants with complex disabilities, support staff - the wider ecology they are in- at heart; she is culturally aware and sensitive to people’s different needs and ways of expression. She is also very talented as an artist in her own right; able to work with a multi-disciplinary way. She is a deeply valued member of our team.
Rachel Bennett - Module Leader Music dept,
WAC performing Arts and Media College
Griot Chinyere Nwobani directed our WAC Trinity Diploma 1st year production in the summer term of 2007. The piece was based on Story Telling around issues of identity and the enslaved African peoples who were brought to the Americas and Caribbean in the 16th century. It was devised by the students with Griot Chinyere as the facilitator, skills teacher and director.
Griot Chinyere is a highly creative and energised teacher whose energy and love of the form was passed clearly to her student. She was reliable, punctual and very communicative . Griot Chinyere is committed to the development of young people’s confidence, skills and sense of self. She is caring, warm and notably flexible in difficult situations.
We thoroughly valued her presence throughout the process of her term with us and can say with confidence that she will enhance any team situation with ideas, enthusiasm and genuine care.
Issadora Duncan Dance Co.
Workshop sharing; Griot Chinyere has an earthed spirit of honesty and caring that is perfect for “working” / workshoppping with older adults. Her openness to all brings out the participants openness towards her, she allows time which is so essential in leading/facilitating any age group. Her stories make one have to think beyond the story itself and move into another area of philosophical thinking. This deeper manner then brings out the memory of each person’s own meaning in and of life – with a feeling of being safe, not judged and very much heard! The world needs more of Chinyere
Dear Griot Chinyere
Further to your visit of the North Tongu District Battor 2011 where you delivered vibrant storytelling workshops in 4 of our schools, also helping to set up a women’s council, we would now like to invite you again to our region. The feedback from the schools, villages, participants and leaders was very encouraging and we are motivated by your energy and enthusiasm. The elders of the village have experienced your work and want to know of your return! You have created such excitement I can not describe. Thank you very much. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
George Valenty Chamenyi
Dimela Yekwai, lecturer, teacher, poet and performer
To see Chinyere performing is to witness a conjurer of mythical characters walking among mortals. She breathes life into her characters and we, the audience are transported to whatever environment she has conjured and those are just as varied as her numerous characters. So one minute you might be walking in a tropical forest in the dead of night with all the scary noises of the wild animals overhead, in the canopies, or in the undergrowth as one just jump out of a thicket directly into your path sending your breath scattering for cover as the voice died in your throat. She is intense and very accurate in her delivery and her audience travels with her emotionally as they step into her conjured world.
I have travelled with her as the creature of the lake, which lures mortals to its Lear deep, down in the depth of its darkened habitation only to watch this monster change into a hansome prince.
Audiences ranging from the pensioners of which I am one to the 5 to 10 year olds and all the age groups in between. She is not only dynamic but also innovatively creative and totally committed to her craft and her audience.
She is responsible for the Annual African story telling Festival. Last year it was a forest in Edgware and as we sat around the fire watching the fire rise and fall to the sounds of the summer wind suddenly we could hear the chimes of the storytellers bells as they create mystic rhythms energising the listeners expecting and she enters their midst and in acknowledgement the crackling sounds of the fire as she twirls and twirls energising the drummers into action and the audience becomes an aspect of this visual bonanza and then she summoned her them to engage with the story as they send the drummers nimble hands into the hypnotic movement and sound and the dancing feet carries the story on and on!
Not only is Chinyere a phenomenal storyteller but also in her innovative personality she has summoned us, the community on the night of the winter Solstice to hug a tree as you give a performance whilst the night creatures create a serenade of sounds. She is an extraordinary storyteller who transports the sounds of African and the Caribbean to England and the energy she conjures for her audience is always mind blowing whether she is in a theatre in Oxford or South London to a forest in Edgware or South London.
She has a complete affinity with her craft because she completely believes in the integrity of what she does. Above all she is committed to the circular motion of her craft. She also understands completely the importance of passing on values necessary for the young to engage respectfully with not only their experiences but their peers by ensuring that her stories not only has a strongly positive moral code but that this code is recognised by her audience and as such becomes a part of their experiences as the flow of this influence travels on in its quiet march.
Amanttha Edmead - Artistic Director
Thursday 21st February 2013
Dear Sir or Madam
I am writing to share my experiences of Chinyere and her storytelling performance and teaching skills.
I have had the pleasure of working with Chinyere on numerous occasions and first commissioned her to deliver a Griot storytelling session for adults in 2009. The aim of the workshop was to share key skills and with professional and no professional actors to aid them in a scratch performance of a new play. Chinyere was able to engage all present with her approachable and fun manner, encouraging them to give of themselves and take risks while she imparted some key storytelling forms and techniques.
I also worked with Chinyere the following year, in a divised piece of theatre called Waters Flight, at the Pegasus in Oxford. Chinyere’s energy, knowledge and skill was invaluable in the devising process and in the finished piece added a weight to the performances, helping us to reach the audience on more than just a cathartic level.
I would describe Chinyere’s storytelling as having heart and rhythm and a powerful ability to connect those who are part of the experience…the true essence of community in the African tradition and the power of transformation. Both teacher and performer Chinyere’s work has Spirit which is youthfully playful and wise beyond her years.
If you have any questions or need more information please contact me on the above addresses or mobile.
“Working with Griot Chinyere has been a really great experience. Her storytelling workshop with our year 9 students was really exciting and informative. The students were given an insight into the power and purpose behind storytelling and how they could use it to think about identity and prejudice. We are looking forward to working with Chinyere again!