HADITHI YA DIMA
Dima is a magical place for me. Set deep in the Shimba Hills at the Kenyan Coast I spent many happy hours running barefoot through the grass, learning how to grow sukuma wiki from Nyanya (grandmother) and listening to someone across the valley playing the flute on many a glowing evening.
Returning to Kenya as an adult I realise how little stories and storytelling takes place and so by collaborating with the Storymoja Book Festival, I have been able to bring some back.
I am now embarking on another project with the Global Concerns Trust in Scotland, where the entire Dima community is involved in a storytelling project 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 2015!
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, 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