Storyteller, Musician To Perform For Dec. 3 Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration

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Ohio University will host a Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the Baker University Center Ballroom A.

Madafo, a storyteller and musician, will perform during the celebration. According to his biography, his stories speak from an African experience and are told in the tradition of the griot, who are the people responsible for keeping the history, traditions, principles and values of the people, alive and vibrant.

He combines traditional and contemporary percussion instruments to accentuate the imagery created by the listener. He uses chant, demonstration, characterization and audience participation to take his audience on a fun-filled, therapeutic, educational journey. His story presentations breathe life into the age-old art form.

For more than four decades, Madafo has been contributing to the forward movement of his community, coordinating Kwanzaa celebrations, creating mentoring programs for African-American youth and serving as director of several community-based children’s theater and summer arts programs. 

Madafo's first CD of folktales, poetry and music, Telling In The Spirit, continues to receive critical acclaim, as it showcases his wide range of talent, as a storyteller and musician. His self-published children's story book, "The Greedy Hyena" is a wonderful retelling of an ancient African fable; brilliantly illustrated and fun to read.

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and other nations in Africa and the Americas. It was created by Maulana Karenga and is the first specifically African American holiday.

Kwanzaa is typically celebrated in order to reconnect Africans and African Americans to their heritage. The holiday promotes the seven principles of Kwanzaa or Nguzo Saba. The seven principles include unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

The Kwanzaa celebration is a joyful and reverent time for many Africans and African Americans around the globe. This year, Kwanzaa will be celebrated Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

The event, which is sponsored by the Multicultural Center and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board, is free and open to the public.