Category Archives: Uncategorized

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? 

 

Leopard Mother

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

Bevin Magama on stage, Gwdihw cafe.

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

Teachers at Ninian park catching on the moves 2014

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

hre aerial view1

Harare Wind

The wind is the wind. It goes where it wants. It writes what it wants. It does not sleep. Just like Harare, the city of all power in Zimbabwe. It pulsates with vigour as it weaves its way through every corner, at times chewing into itself. Maybe it’s diseased just like the city it has enveloped.

The Harare wind briefly stops. A flickering moment to ponder on forthcoming elections. Its starting point are those mini buses garishly emblazoned with the red, gold, black and green flags. Then it gathers momentum as it has done in the past elections through the time Harare was riled by escalating prices and black marketeering.

The wind itself is timeless. It remembers when this city had escaped the noose of colonialism, having politicked on the notion of collective good. But that was just a notion. Practically this city teaches hymns that celebrate the acquisition of money by hook and crook. As the wind rocks back and forth those red flags, yellow flags and green flags, it smiles at its works. A city tremendously overburdened by a cancerous nostalgia.

No-one tells the wind where to go. It heads towards the slums of  Harare, a place called Mbare. The wind likes Mbare. It whistles better past those dust-caked walls, grime-laden windows and endless corrugated iron shacks. It gasps past a small shack accommodating a family of  ten, with parents doing their thing on a squeaky bed while children fake sleep.

Mbare is the delta that spits out malcontents into Harare. It has always been a thorn in the backside of any regime, be it Ian Smith, Muzorewa or Mugabe. The wind loves it that way. This place in the eyes of the politicians is seen to exhibit toe-curling expressions of revolt. Dissent is illegal.

Mbare houses Rufaro stadium, where Bob Marley once sang ‘Liberate Zimbabwe’. The wind smells the stadium. It now reeks in stale piss and blobs of graffiti. Red, green and yellow posters. The wind weaves and hisses its way past cockerels, clenched fists and open palms ready to dish out a sharp slap.

Like anywhere else, the wind knows. Politics is a dirty game. In this part of the world, it’s never dog eat dog, that’s fair competition. It is better depicted by Goliath slaying Lazarus, the leper.

The wind alters course, heads to the house of parliament. Has parliament been dissolved? Maybe on paper. The wind is unimpressed by never-satisfied-politicians riding on a gravy train. This is an abominable sin. There is no John The Baptist to tell these politicians to repent. In fact, the voice belongs to the politicians. It is the public who must reform and listen to the voice of reason.

Four elections ago, at this very spot, the wind remembers what happened. Unrepentant protesters never yielding. Swamped by heavily armed riot police, they hailed stones at them. The police advanced, see through shields covering their bodies. A beggar sat sprawled on a street corner, unconcerned about the goings-on. The wind knew him. He always talked to the wind. The beggar took a big sip of his kachasu, a lethal strong illegal brew. This stuff, the wind also knew, was brewed along the banks of Mukuvisi river in discarded oil drums over a wood fire.

Kachasu drinkers are distinguished by their skinny, ragged appearances and black blotches all over their faces. This kachasu drinker, scraggy and bony like an elderly cockerel, his eyes panned slowly and unconcerned around the scene. The police moved like a Roman legion. Possessed. This scrawny man and a group of street kids who had guts from sniffing glue were rounded up in the process.

The wind has a friend, the sun. On that day, the sun and the wind connived. The wind calmed. The scorching sun spread its tentacles just as the protesters mushroomed from every corner of the city. The police became thin on the ground. They badly need reinforcements to cope. The wind and the sun watched, perplexed. It was not what they thought would happen.

Politicians sent in crack troops. The creme de la creme of the army. Highly trained to kill. Crack troops diabolically blitzkrieged the city, rolling past like molten magma from a volcanic crater. They pounced on their unsuspecting victims, shooting and maiming their brothers, sisters and parents. The strikes were quelled but the protesters lived to fight another day. Spectacular madness, the wind and the sun said to each other.

Back to the present, the Harare wind is now on the move. It is turning into a whirlwind. The Harare wind has no answers yet who will stand victorious in the forthcoming July elections. Again the Harare wind has no answers as to what will deliver the knockout blow?  Will it be the fist? Or will it be the slap?

Written By Bevin Magama

Storyteller and Writer

www.bevinmagama.com

 

 

The Hare and The Baboon

I am thoroughly enjoying working on further developing this project, a one hour storytelling performance which derives from my book VICIOUS. It is always fun to work alongside the ubiquitous theatre director Dr Bambo Soyinka on this project. My special thanks to the Arts Council of Wales for making the development of this performance piece possible.

photo (3)

 

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