Author Archives: Bevin Magama

Young Women’s Empowerment

 

Sudanese Women's Dance

Tuwezeshe Akina Dada is a bespoke project that aims to give voice to young African women. It aims to empower them against all forms of violence and help them to develop their leadership skills thereby helping to influence and shape the decisions and actions that impact upon them.

The project’s main focus is to work with young women from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Somaliland as well as here in Wales, and across the UK. This project was launched by Sub Sahara Advisory Panel at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on the 10th of March 2017. Among the guest speakers were Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood whose message was “nationhood, visibility and empowerment. Welsh Labour Assembly member, Jenny Rathbone, called for greater role for African women in the diaspora to influence policy discussions.

As a storyteller, I shared with the audiences the story of How The Cat Became  A Woman’s Best Friend. This was a story about a woman’s resilience as told to me by my grandmother when I was seven years old.

 

how the cat became a woman's best friend Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood Id's Place catering Jenny Rathbone

Zimbabwe Family Day Newport, Feb 2017.

Newport is a small city in Wales. It has a vibrant Zimbabwean Community and among this community is the Zimbabwe Newport Volunteering Association led by Robert Muza. One of the aims the Zimbabwe Newport Volunteering Association is promoting community links and exchange visits between Newport and the Mufakose community in Harare, Zimbabwe. On the 18th of February 2017, the Zimbabwe Newport Volunteering Association hosted a family day. the day was filled with Zimbabwean storytelling, drumming, music, dancing and over and above everything else the attendees enjoyed the Zimbabwean cuisine. I enjoyed sharing traditional Zimbabwean folklore and playing mbira music for the audience.

Storytelling Newport

Extract from my book “Dreaming All Things Great”

BINMEN, SEAGULLS AND BROADWAY

 

Broadway is my street

It is not broad at all

Its broadness is in its diversity

Boasting of an assortment of commerce

A gentlemanly massage parlour

A second hand shop selling fridges and refurbished dishwashers

A few dodgy looking garages

A rundown refugee centre painted all black

Where mothers with dishevelled hair and tired eyes cling onto their worried husbands and children

Two workingmen’s pubs

Broadway is prowled by people

Of all ages, colour and creed

People from India, Far East, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and South Wales

This is the Cardiffness of my street

 

Throughout the weekend litter accumulates

Litter piles are high by Monday

By Thursday morning

Cars negotiating piles of rubbish bags

Thursday morning has its song

I follow this song

Blackbirds call

Seagulls scream

Scattered bins

Black bags ripped open

By the side of the bin

Lies a dead pigeon

Its stomach ripped open

Intestines trailing

Seagulls scrum

Pulling and tugging at the prize inside

By noon

Flies buzz

That stench from the bins

Those pigeon entrails

Now scattered all over

Passers-by hands over mouths

That overpowering smell

Evoking a vow of silence

On bystanders and onlookers

Watch your step

Or else you’ll be carrying the stench all day

Friday comes

Rubbish collection has not been done

Where art thou binmen?

 

By my window the sun percolates

Its yellow glow mesmerising

I stretch and yawn

Seagulls screech

Unemptied bins roll

Strewn waste from pavement  to road

The flock of seagulls competing with the flies

Where art thou binmen?

By the following Monday

My street is but a war zone

Seagulls and their foes

Run along the pavement

The clouds of last night

Splattering their tears

Over the bins and black bags

Slippery banana peelings

Maggots emerge out -of –date chicken pieces

Freed from the depth of black bags

A fiasco developing

Seagulls versus rats

Maggots versus flies

The wind has a mind of its own

Wafting into my window

Take this

It seems to say

The unbearable stench

Rising frustration

I pay council tax

But not for this

Cardiffian councillors and lovers

I plead

Where art thou binmen? 

 

The Brave Hunter and The Leopard

The Brave Hunter and the Leopard is a  beautiful and captivating storytelling piece. A bragging hunter whose appetite for hunting  leads him to hunting in a strange mysterious forest captures two leopard cubs. The leopard mother traces the footsteps of the hunter to reclaim her cubs. The story is told in singing and drumming by the talented, Sanganai, a Zimbabwean duo.Dancing Leopards

Little Sparks

A unique arts event was held in the very friendly vibrant cafe Gwdihw on the 6th of October 2015. Making Minds organised this well-attended event which was dedicated to raising awareness of mental health, reducing mental health stigma and discrimination. Multi platform artists including, Belle Blue ( Musician), Eric Ngalle Charles (Poet) of Black Entertainment Wales, myselfand many others shared their arts in support.Eric Charlesbelle blue

Wales Fair Trade Fair October 2015

Love Zimbabwe launched its 9th year Wales Fair Trade Fair at Abergavenny and Brecon on the 3rd and 4th of October 2015. The event was a big success. In my capacity as a storyteller, I took part in both events sharing stories with children and adults who attended. At the official opening of the Abergavenny fair, Martha Musonza Holman shared a smile with her husband David Holman whilst the leader of the Green Party Pippa Bartolotti cut the ribbon. Also officiating was councillor Martin Hickman. The hardwork that Love Zimbabwe does can be seen on http://lovezimbabwe.org/

Pippa Bartolotti , leader of the Green Party, myself and Councillor Martin Hickman.

Pippa Bartolotti , leader of the Green Party, myself and Councillor Martin Hickman.

My Mouth Brought Me Here

 

This one-off event took place at Butetown History and Arts Centre in Cardiff on the 18th of June 2015. Eric Ngalle Charles of Black Entertainment Wales  brought artists together. This was a memorable night of poetry, storytelling and music. The poetry and storytelling from Eric Ngalle had intellectual bite whilst the music from the highly talented upcoming artists King Jaguar and Carlton Curtis was enchanting and revolutionary.At this event I shared with the audience some folktales including How The Cat Became A Woman’s Best friend. This show is bound to remain in my long term canon as one of my best collaborations ever.

As Good As You Give Anti-bullying Initiative

When it comes to real happiness and the satisfaction of one’s soul, nothing comes closer to working hands-on in the community. Bringing a smile on an old person, a youth or children in schools to me is my reward for ding what I do. The months of October to December 2014, in my capacity as Lead Storyteller at Magmatic Stories, I enjoyed performing and conducting workshops with selected schools and youth groups in Cardiff. Monster Dance at Adamsdown Primary Sch 2014

Anti-bullyingworkshop At A School

National Theatre Wales production Bordergame

In the National Theatre Wales production Bordergame, I played the character of a vicious and rogue security guard selling fake and stolen documents to migrants who intended to cross the border from NewK to the Autonomous Republic of Cymru. I loved this role so much that it took me a while to de-role myself after the production ended.

Water Always Finds A Way

Water is the essence of life. Water is so soft and yet it can overcome rock. In water is memory that dates back to the origin of time. Our stories and ourselves flesh and blood are deeply rooted to water. Water Always Finds A Way is a storytelling performance sharing enchanting water stories.

 

Wade In The Water HummingFlow MaugranThis event was held at Butetown History and Arts Centre in Oct 2014