Bofa Village, Kilifi, Kenya

Day 2: Saturday, 27 April 2019

The morning began with thunderous skies and a massive downpour of rain at the scheduled arrival of the group. This delayed the start of the programme, Furaha decided to get an Uber tuk tuk to go and collect the group.

They filed in, drenched but happy to be at Tulia. After drying up and settling in the programme started on a high note with a welcome from Allyson and an introduction to the programme and Ray Mahabir, our guest artist from Sunshine International Arts (Trinidad/London).

The group is made up of twenty one (21) with sixteen (16) girls and five (5) boys from the ages of ten (10) to sixteen (16).

The morning session was led by Ray who covered festivals, celebration and carnival. He introduced Trinidad Carnival and explained the evolution of the freedom of people, we then went on to look at the tribal composition of the group and realised that the majority of the group were made of the Girtama Tribe and a small number of the Kisutu Tribe.

The group had a discussion on celebration and identification of festivals and celebration from their experience or memory. A selection of celebration and festivals were identified, birth, passage of rights and death. In particular the group mentioned Madaraka Day with much excitement.

An explanation of the Day was sought by Ray from the group who then explained that this was Kenya Independence Day which was celebrated on the first of June. Ray was very excited by this information as he saw the link to Trinidad Carnival and the celebration of free peoples.

The group explained how their celebrated the day with song, dance, food and special dress which is the same as Trinidad Carnival.

We had a short break and continued with a performance of Scene 1-3 of the play Jungle Book where emphasis was being placed on Acting and Character
Development. Over the last year the group has been practising their parts at their weekly Drama Workshops with Furaha, so this session honed in on these particular skills.

Before our lunch break, Ray requested a song or dance that would be used for Madaraka Day and the we had a full group performance of the Lele Mama song which is done at all celebrations.

The second half of the day had better weather so we moved to under the trees and the group spent time designing their individual characters for the Jungle Book, from this flowed a Show and Tell where each member explained their designs. Ray assisted in further development of the designs, looking at the colour of the costumes for the characters.

The next stage was looking at headdress and masks, while David Rudder sang the Ganges meets the Nile in the background to evoke the spirit of Trinidad Carnival.

In preparation of the next stage the group was given research home work to look at tribal patterns to incorporate in their costumes and to record memories from their elders on traditions and festivals.

The day was summarised by recall of the learning that took place which included celebrations, festivals, facing the audience and always being in character, the day ended with a group performance of Lele Mana.