United We Stand
Griot Chinyere is a British born African storyteller whose family originates from the Igbo people of West Africa. She had her first taste of storytelling when she visited her ancestral village in Nigeria at the age of ten. She remembers the whole village gathered around a fire at dusk to listen to Chinyere tell a story. Many of the audience did not speak English and Chinyere could not speak her mother tongue. Through her actions, tones and facial expressions the story was told. She says there was laughter, nods of understanding and participation from her first audience. She felt that storytelling had given her the power to communicate eloquently, even in another language. She spent ten years travelling through Europe, the Middle East and Africa, always keeping storytelling at the centre of her activities, using it to communicate, entertain and negotiate her way through life. In 1994 Griot Chinyere moved back to London. She has a degree in Engineering and a Masters in Script Writing from Goldsmiths College. She has spent the last fifteen years developing her performance skills as well as designing storytelling courses for the African diaspora and beyond. She also works in schools and institutions using storytelling to empower vulnerable members of society. Griot Chinyere is one of the directors of Britain's first African Storytelling Festival. She describes it as a 'creative healing space where individuals, families, communities and organisations come together to explore spiritual healing through African storytelling performances, workshops and retreats for personal development.'