African Stages Association of BC

African Storytelling comes to life wherever you find African Stages. Dancing, singing, drumming, acting, costumes, masks and the great storyteller Comfort Ero, bring traditional and contemporary African arts to gathering places, festivals, libraries and theatres in the Greater Vancouver area and across the country. African Stages Association was officially incorporated in Victoria, BC in 1997, although Comfort was telling stories long before then under the name Zibota African Moonlight Theatre. The society was formed as a way to aggregate all of the various activities that Comfort was delivering in the community and region. The formation of African Stages was, and continues to be, a hub for Comfort’s vision of building community through African wisdom and creativity, as well as building a rightful place for African artists to create and perform for everyone. *Tohio means: Come quickly, I have a story to tell! Hia hia kpo means: tell it, we are listening. When you come to see Comfort tell a story, she will always begin like this. While growing up in her native Nigeria, before video games and television, telling stories was the way in which families were entertained in the evening. A storyteller would alert everyone with a cry of “tohio!” and the listeners would gladly reply “hia hia, hia hia kpo!” which means “tell it, we are listening!”  Purpose: To empower children, youth and immigrants, also, elderly and people who face everyday struggle with issues like bullying, racism, poverty, immigration, victims of war and/or abuse, and mental health and so on through storytelling and forum theatre, accompanied with dancing, drumming, and acting.  Participants: All ages, for storytelling, and small to medium audience size for forum theatre. All health conditions can benefit from our services.  Outcomes: Empowering with storytelling, accepting own self with self-respect.

Framework/Philosophy: In Africa, and many indigenous cultures, storytelling is integrated into everyday life. As such, it plays a major role in shaping people’s lives. It is not only entertaining, but it passes on the values and principles of a culture. It is a teaching tool and a guide used to raise children and instill wisdom and harmony in people.

Time: 1997 – Ongoing
Location: All over BC
Art Modalities: Art Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, Music Therapy, Play Therapy, Poetry, Reading/Literacy, Writing, Dance/Movement, Drama/Theatre, Music, Singing, Storytelling/Poetry

Contact:
African Stages Association of BC
Narges Sonya Govahi, Administrative Management
Email: africanstages@gmail.com | Web: www.africanstages.org | Phone: 604-767-1471
Image Source: www.africanstages.org