African Activities CIC are excited to announce that we are finalists for the Outstanding Musical Initiative award 2019! Thank you to the schools and community groups we work with that have nominated us. It is truly rewarding to know that they value working with us as much as we enjoy working with them, and we are very grateful.

The Outstanding Musical Initiative category is one of the most prestigious in the Music Teachers Awards For Excellence which is in itself known as the “Oscars of the Music Education world”. As an African organisation teaching African Arts in British schools we campaign hard for African Arts to be recognised as the excellent and outstanding modern art forms they are. It feels wonderfully validating to be shortlisted amongst such outstanding organisations and have these achievements recognised.

Our African Activities workshops now reach over 200 schools a year, face to face, and over 2000 teachers use our online resources to support their learning. This work is only made possible by the outstanding artists who work with us to deliver workshops of such a standard that the ‘high arts’ and ‘diversity’ have no need to lie in separate categories.

Our work engages and excites young people by bringing the music and culture of Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, Kenya, Benin and Tanzania right into classrooms and community groups across the UK. Our interactive workshops showcase excellence and then engage students in fully participatory learning. The levelling nature of a ‘new’ art form enables students of all abilities, teachers and even parents to learn together without boundaries.

“We are incredibly proud to be a finalist for this important award. It’s great recognition of a lot of hard work and determination, but also of the African Arts and artists that we support. We know African Activities CIC brings musical excellence to thousands of children and lights a creative fire, often for the first time, with many ‘hard to reach’ students. We also know our workshops start to break down barriers and begin conversations about race that can completely change perceptions. Important but difficult conversations are often best done in the form of music. For us, as Africans, we are proud to share these arts but to see students engage with the music within its context, understanding its importance and thus leaving with a richer and more accurate vision of ‘Africa” than they started with is as important to us as it is to the children.”

Kwame Bakoji-Hume, African Activities CIC Director.