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.
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
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.
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
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