Welcome to my blog!
The world is not made of atoms, it is made of stories. I cannot remember where I heard those words but they made an impression.
People often look confused when I tell them that I am a storyteller. “What do you mean? Like you just tell stories?”
Storytelling is an ancient art. It is different from story reading. A storyteller learns a story, then creates it afresh adding their own understanding of it and what message they want to put across. Telling it from memory, the teller uses their voice and body as props to the performance. Every story performance, whether of the same story by same or different teller, is always unique in its own way. When combined with a dash of music, a pinch of dance and a basketful of audience engagement and interaction, the result is an animated, intimate experience for both the teller and the audience.
I was initiated into the storytelling world in February 2006 at the Alliance Francaise, Nairobi. I was part of a team doing The Fireside Tales Series organized by the Master Oraturists, Zamaleo Sigana Storytellers. It was a duo performance, sharing the stage with veteran storyteller Susan Wamucii Kun’gu. I must admit feeling very intimidated being with such amazing and longtime performers like Githanda Githae and Helen Namai, under the direction of storytelling Mogul, Odero Aghan. But despite the butterflies in my stomach (and my mouth!), at the end of the three-day run, I knew that is where I wanted to be!
Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of sharing stories, banter, song, chant and riddles in many diverse settings. From a school at the North Eastern Kenya border town of Mandera, where men and women from the neighbourhood stood around the fence, listening, engaging and answering,”Sheeko Ma’an” loudly to my timid call, “Sheeko! Sheeko!” To those tiny tots at the Fairy Stage of the Fabula Storytelling Festival in Stockholm, who barely knew any English (I knew all of three Swedish words). Who, after the performance would come up, excited, asking “What was the name of the tree?” To a storytelling session in a birthday party, my audience of eight nine-year olds sitting cross-legged by the fireplace, lights off, eyes wide open. Oh, they ended up sharing with me more stories than I did with them!
I tell different types of stories: legends, myths and folktales from various cultures, fairy tales, real tales, tall tales, new tales, sob-sob tales, funny tales and anything in between.
What to expect in the blog, you ask? Stories, of course! Of storytelling, of books that will keep your little ones loving the read, of events happening in the art scene that you should not dare miss. Of storytellers that you definitely have to know. And stories of why they are absolutely awesome!
Storyteller or Story lover, feel free to drop me a line on why stories are just the thing for you!
Karibu, and let us share this walk together!
“Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.” -Plato