Archive for October, 2007
One word of warning though, and this was simply something not in my control. Somehow, well… it seems… ok, I’ll just spill it out. It appears there is rap artist who has the exact same title as my CD and, well… maybe you’ll want to just look me up on Amazon by name , “Baba the Storyteller,” instead of typing in “The Art of Storytelling”
If you happen to type in “The Art of Storytelling” by accident, I assure you that first title track is not mine. Somehow my tracks are interspersed with those of this rapper. Oh, the pain!
So please, please, please proceed with caution if you’re going to purchase my tracks from Amazon mp3.
Hoy era un día lleno de éxito. Tuve que hacer una presentación para unos maestros y administradores educativos aquí en el sur de California en Orange County. Usualmente los grupos que yo hablo con y dar lecciones sobre la arte de cuentistas son una mezcla de gente quien hablan ingles y español o ingles únicamente. Hago concesiones y traducir mis lecciones para estos grupos pero hoy, toda la gente hablaron español. Hubo mucha gente de partes diferentes del sur de America.
Pasaron mucho tiempo hoy hablar español solamente y era una oportunidad practicar mi español. No me falte nada hablar hoy y estoy orgulloso por eso. Alguna vez pienso lo que yo hablo lo mejor como escribir pero trato de hacerlo y esto es la cosa lo mas importante si?
Estoy muy contento con mi presentación hoy. En el futuro deseo mas con mi fluencia en la lenguaje español. Debo preparar espectáculos y presentaciones español de cuentas y música para nuestros niños quien no hablan ingles. Ellos necesitan aprender sobre otras culturas también, verdad? Es parte de mi trabaja hacer comunicaciones con lo mas gente posible. Que piensa tu?
Creo que esto es por eso yo hago esta trabaja.
Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres.
Here it is 2007 and after many decades I am still repeating the mantra: “Africa is not a country, it is a continent.” It seems I’ve been saying this for so long that my brain just clicks into automatic whenever I’m in situations where I have to say it. You would think that I would spend most of my time chanting this phrase to children but this isn’t the case. I encounter more adults than you could possibly imagine who approach me and ask questions such as; Can you tell me how to say such and such in African?
Amazingly, I haven’t become frustrated at the daunting responsibility of carrying the “Africa is not a Country” banner with me wherever I travel but I’ve got to tell you; it sure is getting heavy after a few decades of holding it.
Dooni, dooni kononi be nyaga da.
Although I had a really long day yesterday, I couldn’t resist supporting an evening event that a very dear friend of mine made me aware of. We were talking earlier in the week and she explained that there was a gathering that was going to occur at one of our local community cornerstones. The event was called The Black Family Bond and she wanted to know if I could come and play my Kora and maybe tell a story or two.
I don’t know how anyone could turn down an event supporting the strengthening of familial bonds. I couldn’t and I didn’t. I’ve worked many jobs over my lifetime and I can honestly say that working as a performing artist is a lot more demanding than I had anticipated in my idealized youth. Earlier that day I had workshops at one school with students and then a couple of assembly performances at another school. I’m somewhat phobic about the business aspects of my craft so I’m always trying to make sure my correspondence is “never” delayed. So, factor in workshops, performances, email returns, phone calls (oh, I almost forgot… eating) and there is little time left for anything else.
To make a long story short, as they say, I arrived at the small church called KRST Unity around 7:30 pm, just in time to hear an extremely dynamic woman talking to the audience about the realities of living in the community as families, current changes in the legal system that everyone needed to be aware of, etc. She was exceptional! I could have listened to her talk for hours on end.
They announced me and I went out and did my thing, a little music mixed with a bit of interactive tale telling. In the middle I might have thrown in a few of my own philosophical morsels. The thing that made this most memorable to me was the response I got from the children in the audience. After I finished my performance and was exiting the area, a good number of the children in the audience also stood up and followed me out of the sanctuary. It was impromptu, it seemed almost like a dance to me, as if they had moved on cue. It was a humbling thing for me to be a part of. We spent time in the back room, while I was preparing to leave, talking. A few of the children were trying to get me to commit to returning or coming to their homes to give them bed time stories. Aren’t children the most amazing thing about life?
I had arrived more tired than anything. I was leaving more refreshed than I had felt all day. Maybe this is why I do what I do.
Dooni, dooni kononi be nyaga da.
Although thoroughly exhausted today, I had one of the most amazing days yesterday. I truly love my work. I know that many of the things I talk about might seem minuscule when compared to things going on in the world at large but, for me, these little things are what make up the quality in our lives.
I was giving workshops at an elementary school yesterday. One of those schools where they just tell me to come and do what I do for their children without the bureaucratic ends/outs I so often encounter. So the concept I chose to deal with was effective oral delivery.
I’ve been to the school before, so when I arrived I received the typical warm greetings from the front office staff and spent a few minutes conversing since I was a bit ahead of schedule. While we were talking I heard a young boy yelling my name from the principal’s office (never a good place to be for me during my youth). He ran out and gave me a big hug and he and I talked for a good 30 seconds.
Later that day, about the third workshop, that same young boy was in session with me and about 30 other children. We had a wonderful time exchanging information, learning from one another and practicing our oral delivery techniques. Things went really well. I felt like I accomplished something this day and left the school with that feeling of worth that’s a little hard to describe unless your into providing service to your community.
As I was walking out of the school, the principal and the assistant principal stopped me to talk with me. They explained that the little boy who hugged me earlier was in their office because he was being expelled from school for a period of time due to some inappropriate behavior on campus (I can attest that they are very strict when it comes to the no fighting, pushing, pulling, spitting stuff). I really couldn’t believe that the sweet little kid who had hugged me earlier was actually on the suspension chopping block at the time. The principal then informed me that they lifted his suspension from campus because, and check this out… they lifted his suspension from campus because I was there that day and they wanted him to have time with me in my workshop.
You can’t see it because your reading but there is this unusually wide grin pasted across the front of my face. Proud? Yes, of course, who wouldn’t be honored by a gesture such as this?
Anyway, the principal went on to explain how her methods were child centered and she would do whatever it took to reach each and every child on her campus to help them to become successes.
My drive home in the LA traffic didn’t bother me at all this day. I woke up this morning feeling just as good as the day before. Maybe this is why I do what I do.
Dooni, dooni kononi be nyaga da.
Baba interviews Mr. Mitchell Korn, president and founder of the company Artsvision on his perspectives of the socio/politico role of the Art and Craft of the Storyteller.
Announcements, Listener Comments, Downloadable Storytelling CD Now Available, Tale of an infamous Cow and a proverb of the day.
An obvious, and unashamedly, desperate appeal for reviews on iTunes. Once again, listen at your own risk!
Announcements, Listener Email, A Decision Making Tale and An Aphorism for the Day.