Fonziba Drums!
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Program for Museums, Libraries, Churches and other Public Venues

Documentary Video "Gifts from Mother Africa", African Home Display, and Family Drum Circle

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First, learn about the culture and home life of a typical West African family, while watching Fonsiba’s delightful documentary, "Gifts from Mother Africa", about her trip to Mali and the Ivory Coast. In 2003, Fonsiba spent six weeks living with the Dembele family, whose traditional drummers go back thirty generations. She apprenticed with the family elder, Dramane Dembele, and performed with his drum troupe at several African weddings every week. The eighteen-minute video wonderfully depicts highlights of the drumming and dancing at the colorful weddings and also shows all the details of daily life in a contemporary African home. Audiences of all ages, especially kids, simply love this video and it leads to many lively discussions comparing African culture to our own.

Fonsiba then invites everyone to play one of her thirty, hand-carved, jembe drums from the Ivory Coast and experience first-hand what it is like to be in a West African drum band. Fonsiba has a unique ability to get people with little or no musical training to drum together and sound great. Within minutes, everyone is playing genuine African rhythms and grooving to the tribal beat! To make sure everyone can join in, Fonsiba brings hand-held percussion instruments for anyone too shy to drum, and teaches body-percussion rhythms to play along with the drumming. The more adventurous people in the group try learning some African dance steps, and a few really daring folks volunteer to create free-style dance solos to the drumming. Everyone present, from tiny tots to grandparents, is drawn into the rhythm, energy and pure fun.

Fonsiba also sets up her African Home Display. This contains many items used in the average African home for cooking, eating, cleaning, washing, sitting and sleeping, and the Gifts from Mother Africa video explains each one. Kids are encouraged to handle and play with the display contents, especially the grain crusher, which they are usually anxious to try after seeing it in the video.

This exciting, thoroughly enjoyable experience of African drumming and culture leaves everyone feeling uplifted and exhilarated.

Cost: $400 plus travel expenses

  Gifts from Africa




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  Fonziba at Dubuque Museum
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  African Home Display
     

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