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About African Folktales (Naija Tales)

img African Folktales Project, (Naija Tales) is a Performing Arts creative initiative that harnesses cultural training workshop, artistic production, dissemination and distribution of re-invented dramatized popular African Folktales. The project will involve Nigerian Storytellers, Theatre Artists, Digital content programmers and Radio Producers to fast track the distribution of cultural content through physical and digital platforms. The project will also promote culture contents for young audiences by using popular folklore to enhance image education about African values through positive profiling of African intangible heritage. Folklore forms integral part of Nigeria’s intangible culture and this exist in several forms either as poetry, oratory, orature, storytelling etc. These oral traditions story telling culture which contain cognitive and strategic value used to be the easiest format for transferring native intelligence and information. Over the years however, many of the indigenous folkloric elements have become endangered due to increasing neglect which is not a positive development especially for ever growing young generation of Africans. Thus, African Folktale project aims at preserving indigenous culture using dramatic formats which will be performed live and also disseminated and distributed through digital platforms utilizing theatre, music, dance, mime, spectacle and indigenous Nigerian folk arts in order to preserve indigenous Nigerian heritage and promote creation and distribution of quality and increased quantity of cultural goods and services to live audiences and virtual/digital audiences across the diverse platforms. The project promote image education about African values through positive profiling of African intangible heritage. This project was made possible through the support of- ACP-UE Valorization of West African Culture-AWA call 2 Initiative 2021-2024.

Objectives
-To make culture content more available and accessible to audiences across the world in an increased, qualitative and competitive format and at a competitive price for subscribers and paying audiences.
- To innovate, re-imagine and reinvent dynamics and didactics of African Storytelling tradition curated for live theatre performance disseminated through plethora of digital tools and virtual platforms.
- To preserve African values and open new spaces for new audiences in order to fast digital transition of intangible Nigerian culture.
-To evolve new tools, experiences and data that will serve as model for ‘Rethinking and Reinventing' Performing Arts Practice that can be adopted by Performing Artists and Indigenous African live theatre Practitioners.
-To increase use of web based applications in disseminating cultural content
.-To reach at least 500,000 physical and virtual audiences by july 2022
Results: To launch and celebrate International Day for African Storytellers in Performance to be celebrated annually on 1st December every year
- To launch a website for Performance of African Tales better professional access and commercial utilization
Targets: -To Reach and work with 40 Storytellers by end of 2022
-To reach 25,000 community people with African Folktale Theatre performances
-To Launch an Academy of Indigenous African Storytellers to mentor young Africans in the arts of using African tales in performative prisms
JUSTIFICATION
Folklore forms integral part of Nigeria’s intangible culture and this exist in several forms either as poetry, oratory, orature, storytelling etc.These oral tradition story telling culture which contain cognitive and strategic value used to be the easiest format for transferring native intelligence and information. Over the years however, many of the indigenous folkloric elements have become endangered due to increasing neglect which is not a positive development especially for growing young generation of Africans.This project aims at preserving indigenous culture using dramatic formats which will be performed live and also disseminated and distributed through digital platforms. Naija Tales is thus a Performing Arts Project that will dramatize re-imagined and re-invented popular Nigerian folktales, utilizing theatre, music, dance, mime, spectacle and indigenous Nigerian folk arts in order to preserve indigenous Nigerian heritage and promote creation and distribution of quality and increased quantity of cultural goods and services to live audiences and virtual/digital audiences across the diverse platforms. The project promote image education about African values through positive profiling of African intangible heritage. Naija Tales will involve participatory culture workshops, community engagements, participatory theatre work-shops, live performances, digital content recording and online dissemination. The project also involves contents for young audiences by using popular folklore familiar to children, youth and indigenous communities in Nigeria. The project will add immense value to indigenous culture by revitalizing African cultural values by reviving African tales in an innovative and performative way that will harness a plethora of virtual and digital tools to fast digital transition of intangible culture which will make culture content more available and accessible to audiences across the world in a qualitative and competitive format and at a competitive price for subscribers and paying audiences.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Communities are strategically part of ideating and developing the project. Community gate keepers, local opinion leaders,artists, dancers, storytellers, griots, singers, street artists, acrobats and indigenous circus performers and any other local performative format in communities from Northern Nigeria will be part of the project in terms of research, story sharing interface, performances and dissemination. There is thus, there already exist ownership with the community because it is an integral part of the indigenous, intangible culture of the community people.It is indeed part of the communities’ intangible culture and oral tradition that is reinvented within the context of contemporary relevance especially in terms of digital transition through virtual applications.

ACTIVITY OF THE PROJECT:
-Baseline Survey
-Cultural Workshops with Storytellers, community people and Artists
-Live Performance of Folktales in communities
-Virtual Performance of Folktales on digital platforms(Audio-Visual)
-Folktales Festivals
-Academy of Folktale Storytellers for young people
-Podcast/Broadcast of African Folktales in English,French and Hausa
THE JOURNEY SO FAR:
-Identification of 100 Folktales
-Documentation of 43 folktales
-Adaptation and scripting of 30 Folktales for stage performance
-Engagement of 6 communities
-Development of Folktales for performance by community troupes
-Rehearsals of folktales
-Part payment to troupes
-Recording and translation of 30 Folktales in English, Hausa and French
PROJECT TIMELINE:
January to December 2022
CHALLENGES:
-Development of the Tales to the right standard
-Rainfall
-Security
-Timeline
FUTURE PROJECTION:
-Possible Publication
-Possible launch of Tales TV online (Maybe)
-Gazzetting of 1,000 African Folktales
-Tatsuniya Dubu Daya Project


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