DIMA STORY TRAIL
Set deep in the Shimba Hills at the Kenyan Coast I spent many happy hours in this locality, experiencing a freedom in childhood that many now can only dream of. Running barefoot through the grass, learning how to grow sukuma wiki fwith Nyanya (grandmother) and listening to someone across the valley playing the flute on many a glowing evening.
Touring the world as a performance storyteller, sharing stories from my dual heritage, I realise the immense power that stories have for both individuals and communities. They can inspire, bring about confidence in self, educate and inform in ways that nothing else can. they are as valuable to adults as they are to children and in Kenya, we simply do not value our stories enough. By collaborating with the incredible Storymoja Book Festival, I have been able to share stories across Nairobi, however, I am now keen to explore how stories can positively a community.
Following workshops and consultations with members of the local Dima community, the time is now right to develop an educational platform where through stories and the arts , individuals and families can begin to find a way to benefit themselves from knowledge they possess but are unaware of its value.
With the support of the Global Concerns Trust in Scotland, we intend to establish a training centre that can then develop into a Story Trail with the intent purpose of exploring how stories can positively affect a community. An upcoming trip in September will begin to lay the foundations for how to move forward using stories, arts and music to a) benefit the community economically, b) strengthen the sense of community, c) empower the individual within the community with a stronger sense of self worth.
A brilliant blue setting for a storytelling evening in 2016!
We aim to work with schools, community groups and religious establishments, training in the value of stories and storytelling and how it can be incorporated into every day life for the betterment of society.
Improved perceptions of self worth, economic empowerment, improved imagination and curiosity are some of the desired outcomes. As rural schools often fare worst in Kenya (out of sight/out of mind), and with subsistence the only income for many families in the locality, there is huge potential to engage the whole community, fusing traditional and contemporary methods of passing on knowledge to create a community hungry to read for pleasure, to embrace their past and share it in a manner that sparks curiosity.
Working with schools and teachers to inspire, inform, generate curiosity.
Kivukoni School, Kilifi