If you were anywhere near Wolf Pen Creek this past weekend, chances are you may have heard singing or the beat of drums. Those who attended Worldfest had an opportunity to go on an African Safari.
The Brazos Valley Worldfest 2012, Nov. 9-10, played host to African Storyteller Elizabeth Kahura, who performed her renowned “Safari” for the crowd.
“Basically what I do is teach the history and cultural lifestyle of Africa by telling stories,” said Elizabeth. “I’ve come up with a program called African Safari, where I enlighten the world about the true meaning of Africa and bust myths about it.”
Mr. Kahura has been performing acts like her Safari for more than 10 years. As a Kenya native, her folktales and memories of home provide a unique educational opportunity for audiences of all ages.
“Through my stories I try to teach people to be open to new ideas. Different cultures can bring different ideas, different values that can be applied to life,” she said. “We should all learn to embrace tolerance and diversity by being open-minded because we live in one big world. We should get to know each other better…to learn and gain from one another.”
Organized by Texas A&M University and the City of College Station, Worldfest celebrates the international cultures and heritage in the Brazos Valley. The main goal of the Elizabeth's African Safari program is to promote diversity and teach about the true meaning of Africa. The College of Education & Human Development and the Aggie Storytelling Association, ASA, supported Ms. Kahura’s presentation at the annual community wide festival.
With a stated mission of preserving and encouraging an appreciation for oral tradition, the ASA and Elizabeth’s Safari program naturally blend. According to the ASA website, storytelling helps build community, helps people appreciate diversity, and inspires goal development.
"Our mission is to preserve and encourage an appreciation of the oral tradition as it occurs in all cultures, in each person's personal life, and in literature of multiple time periods," said Emily Cantrell, faculty advisor for the ASA. "Elizabeth is one of many greatly talented storytellers who help to preserve the oral tradition and has wonderful stories to share."
After her final presentation at Worldfest, Elizabeth reflected on the day's events.
“I love to see different cultures coming together to have fun. People of all colors and religions are here, dancing and singing with me – it makes me feel at home,” said Elizabeth. “By doing these shows and traveling, I’ve come to realize that we, as a people, share so many similarities.”
You can learn more about Elizabeth’s program at her website, www.safariprogram.com.