I had the great pleasure of visiting a school in Clacton-on-Sea, in Essex for a storytelling workshop day of celebrating Black History Month, October.
It was a privilege to talk about Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Mary Seacole.
My good friend and professional London storyteller, Wendy Shearer has kept encouraging me to use my love for the South African language Zulu in my stories and use that as a way to create something unique. And so I did, AGAIN.
I greeted the the whole school in Assembly in Zulu, we sang happy birthday in Zulu to a young lady who turned 8 on the day and I managed to get the whole assembly of 300 children singing 'Shosholoza'. ‘Shosholoza’ is a ‘Nguni’ song that was sung by the mixed tribes of miners, mining gold in South Africa. It has been described as the second National Anthem of South Africa.
Following the assembly, I worked with each of the year groups in smaller workshop groups in what was unbelievable fun. From understanding what storytelling is to interacting and discussing the lives of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Mary Seacole. I do wonder how many people know who Mary Seacole was?
To end each of the sessions, I told a traditional Zulu folktale.
My greatest surprise was on receiving feedback from the school, that same day - “The workshops and assembly were fantastic. All the teachers were so pleased with the children's responses and the way Andy interacted with them. The children are now completing work based on the story telling Andy did today as they were so enthusiastic about what they had learnt.”
What a fabulous day!