Africa Comes to Corfe Mullen

by Derek Cheeseman

Anyone who wishes to know more about African life and culture but can’t afford to travel these days would have benefited from a visit to St.Nicholas’ Church on Saturday 3rd October for their Africa Day. These special days are called Dream Days, (DREAM standing for Drama, Ethics, Art and Music) and are becoming well-known in our Corfe Mullen community. Previous recent Dream Days have featured dinosaurs, African Drumming, and Christmas Crafts.

Over 100 people of all ages turned up throughout the day to sample various African crafts. These included painting a large mural of a typical African scene, Mali mudcloth designs, weaving, coil pottery, Ghanaian Fante Asafo flags (if you don’t know what they are, try Googling it), South African hut decoration, fabric printing, bead art, painting flags of various African nations, and of course making, drawing or colouring animals in a variety of ways. Further colour was provided by African clothes worn by a number of participants, although unfortunately the garments do not look so striking on our pale skins!

The highlight of the Africa Day featured drumming sessions led by Denis Kikongo (pronounced Chikongo) all the way from darkest Exmouth. With well over a score of drums available, of various sizes, practically everyone had a great time learning various rhythms and styles, with some wear and tear on the palms and finger-tips. See his website to find out about what he does to spread awareness of African life in the South West.

He was ably supported by Paul, the church’s ‘resident’ Ugandan, who is spending a second year in the village. Paul is a gifted musician, taught us some Ugandan songs, and cooked us some African-style pancakes. There was also a display of African wood carving and information on TEARfund’s ‘water for life’ campaign, a project the church is supporting financially through this year’s special harvest offerings.

See more pictures of the day in this gallery.

For more on tearfund see their web site

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