Theme - Koroso Dance
19 - 20 November 2007  

was a five hour ride from Abuja. We set off late, after having a problem with the van carrying the props and easels. It was a calm peaceful ride through the most picturesque scenes of natural beauty. The mountains and the rocks provided an idyllic backdrop as the bus sped its way towards the largely Muslim city of Kano.

The theme for Kano was the Koroso Dance, a unique energetic and acrobatic Fulani display, often depicting ancient warriors, performed as part of a thank you ceremony to the Gods for a good harvest.

We arrived Kano rather late, not a wise move because the keyholder for the Emirís Palace had left for the day. A few frantic calls from Elijah, our British Council host helped resolve the problem. The keyholder returned and we managed to offload all our art materials.

After offloading the van, we proceeded to Prince hotel, only to find that there was no record of our sponsored bookings. After many vain attempts, we had to source an alternative for the team.

There were a number of challenges awaiting the team in Kano. Civil unrest following party political fall-outs ignited ethnic violence which put the town on red alert. There was a strong military presence in the town and we were advised to move around with caution. Thankfully for us, the Emirís Palace was sanctified and exempt from unrest. The result was a peaceful exhibition. 

In the morning, work began in earnest. The artistís team commenced their exhibition set-up at the Emirs Palace whilst the children arrived at the Gidan Makama museum for a grand tour. Our key supporter in the museum, Hadikat Alhassan along with our British Council rep Elijah Alkali, jointly ensured that the children had a memorable experience. They both coordinated all the 10 schools represented and maintained an orderly programme for the dayís events.

The Gidan Makama museum experience was highly educative. The children took staged tours of the diverse venue and were then treated to an intense discussion on Koroso and culture, hosted by Abdul Rashid, a curator for the museum. This was followed by a short trip to the Emirs palace for the creative writing workshops. Olusola Oyeleye again performed her special brand of inspirational magic, leaving the children in an excited mood, motivating them to produce some passionate written work. 

After the workshops, some children and a few guests attended the beautiful Horizon hotel where Kambaniís Voices of the Unheard was screened in their conference hall. Also, the Prince hotel located our bookings which meant we had a restful night.

The next day was the main exhibition day. Due to civil unrest, visitor numbers were low but this did not prevent the son of the Emir, his highness Aminu Ado Bayero from personally attending and offering his blessings. Everyone in the team received advice on how to pay our respects to him. Plans changed in Kano and because of the unrest and the cultural evening started earlier at 4pm. This did not deflect from the agenda as the children entertained in grand style. There was a beautiful fashion and dance show as well as a powerful Koroso performance, courtesy Yandutse College. At the end of the evening, we presented the Emirís son with a painting as a sign of thanks for the Emirís hospitality.

The Emirs Palace Kano, venue for the expressions Again exhibition.

Rumfa College, An 80 year old public school, one of the participating schools.

Chima with the principal and staff of Yandutse College sharing a joke.

Horizon Hotel, venue for the screening of Kambani Diaries

Yandutse College, Kano, one of the participating schools.

Girls all dressed up in their traditional wear, ready for the dance and fashion.

Our local guide beams whilst on a tour of Kano.

A child beams literally from ear to ear.

More children share some smiles.

The imposing Gidan Dan Hausa Museum.

More children are delighted to be here.

His Excellency, Aminu Ado Bayero, son of the Emir of Kano, (Centre) with Chima and Elijah Alkali of British Council Kano (Left)

A local boy trader selling peanuts.

The artists display area in the Emir's Palace.

Artists and guests in the display area of the Palace.

Children's workshop facilitator, Olusola Oyeleye.

A child beams with a hearty smile.

More smiles from participating children.

Yet more smiles.

Children doing the Koroso dance.

Chima with Hadiket.

Chima and artist's.

A group of children at the creative writing workshop.

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