Out of Africa…and into QE

A specialist group brought the traditional stories and stirring sounds of African culture to the boys of Year 7.

The IROKO Theatre Company first delivered a talk to the boys, recounting a traditional Nigerian moral tale to the accompaniment of musical instruments. Every member of Year 7 then participated in two workshops.

For the first, the Shearly Hall reverberated to the sound of drumming, with each boy allocated an instrument.

""“The boys quickly created a symphony of drums, with bongos, tambos, jambos and other percussion instruments all combining to create a rhythmic and very exciting atmosphere,” said Head of Religion & Society Jack Robertson. “Our pupils developed an understanding of the necessity of team work and experienced the communal pursuit of a shared goal to produce a harmonious beat.”

The second workshop focused on story-telling. Various techniques, such as utilising dramatic gestures and ‘call-back’, were used to bring stories to life in an interactive way.

""Founded in 1996 by actor and director Alex Oma-Pius, IROKO uses the arts – especially, but not exclusively, African arts – to advance the education, health and wellbeing of people from all backgrounds and nationalities, with a particular emphasis on working with children and young people. Its website states: “IROKO's fundamental principle is that its work should have a meaningful effect on the lives of the young people involved: it should educate, empower, motivate and inspire them and at the same time, it should be fun.”

Mr Robertson concluded: “Overall, there were plenty of interactive elements and the boys greatly enjoyed IROKO’s visit, finding it both engaging and informative.”