Nii Okai Tagoe

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Education

Since the early 1990‘s Nii has been on a mission through his educational work in schools and festivals across the UK, Canada, Africa, Portugal, Singapore and Ireland not only to teach dance singing and percussion, but to dispel pre conceptions – particularly about African stereotypes.

Why are the people of the continent “poor” when Africa has amazing resources such as diamonds, gold and oil? What is the difference between a thatched cottage and a mud hut? The recycled aspect and sacred nature of some of the instruments, and how in using the skin of an animal for a drum for example, the spirit of the animal must be honoured and respected.

From speaking of old traditions and sharing the wisdom of the forefathers, such as how observing clothing allowed you to know personal details about a person’s life, to the songwriting process – melody, phrase and poetry.

From a physical perspective, how to transfer energy to different parts of the body, the healing power of music and how to manage multiple rhythms with different parts of the body at the same time – patting your head and rubbing your tummy style!

With and without Frititi, Nii has facilitated workshops, regular sessions and residencies, choreographed bespoke shows and performances around the world at festivals; in private venues; in schools; those for children with special needs and pupil referral units.

IMG_0813   Frititi at ACM SG 7

In 2013 he joined forces with singer, teacher and dynamic female force, Molara, to form a company dedicated to working with children of all ages and abilities predominantly through the medium of music and drama. Omolara – meaning “children are our strength” in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, is dedicated to raising cultural awareness, inspiring imaginations and expanding horizons.

Some of the schools Nii has worked with include:

Programs are:

  • Amigos de Cabo Verde School, Lisbon
  • Andrew Ewing Primary School
  • Boxgrove Primary School, Abbey Wood
  • Carrdus School
  • Clements School
  • Cliftonville Middle School
  • Dollis Infant School
  • Edmonton Camps Hill Community Primary School
  • Fulham Clare Community Primary School, Clare
  • Gypsy Hill Confederation of Schools
  • Haverhill Hartest & Thurlow Primary Schools
  • Henrietta Barnett School
  • Holy Cross Primary School
  • Hounslow Hundon Primary School
  • Islington Arts & Media School
  • Kedington Primary School
  • Langley Park School for Boys
  • Langley Park School for Girls
  • Longlands Primary School
  • Latymer All Saints School
  • Mill Hill Thomas A’Becket First School
  • Northampton Westfield School, Haverhill
  • Pembrokeshire Learning Centre, Neyland
  • Penally Behavioural Support Centre
  • Refugee Home School
  • Sage Centre, Pembroke
  • Sidcup Oakdale Infants School
  • The Row, Hartest
  • Wickhambrook Cavendish Primary School, Cavendish