Thanks to everyone for your contributions to make the final 20th celebration so successful and meaningful. The Baobab Youth Performers did a stellar artistic job on their own and with co-performers by their side! A memorable piece was Bell Forest in the sloping garden at twilight :) Close to 20 alumnae came to rehearsal and performed in Kpanlogo and Gahu like they had not ever left the group! Several of them gave terrific introductions to pieces, including their favourite memories. A few made moving remarks about their time in the group and the importance of this music and dance during adolescence. What a gift to hear that! Kudos to alumnus Ben Holland for all his hard work in tracking down former members through facebook and other means…his list had over 110 names! Our excellent guest artists for the weekend Kwasi Dunyo, Dominic Donkor, & Prosper Adjetey continue to inspire us and are a longtime part of our history. They have been coaching myself and members of the group for many years both here and in Ghana. A special moment came when graduating member Oliver was playing lead drum in Danse Guerriere, a piece introduced to us by Prosper and Dominic several years back. A the end of the piece, Dominic spontaneously ran out an gave Oliver hug of congratulations for such a great job on a difficult part!
The generous use of the Sher family home and garden was perfect for the concert, fitting everyone in but keeping an intimate feel. Robin Burgener did a great job setting the mood with twinkly lights and sound system.
Special thanks to Ian Holland for the two amazing slide shows that kept everyone mesmerized and either laughing or crying. Also to Rory Magill for cooking delicious food for the party on Friday and the Dunyos all weekend. Our house was a revolving restaurant with a lot of laughter and chaos. Good friends Lois McGrath and Andi Murphy for housing guest overflow. Baobab parents helped out enormously with baking, admin, drum movement and silent auction tasks.
Our Board of Directors Evie , Erica, Nadine, Abby, Ann, Emily, Tanis worked tirelessly all season to realize the Anniversary plan we conceived a year ago. In particular for this weekend, a big shout out to Kerry who pulled all the threads together in a calm and creative manner. It was really a team effort with a GREAT team!
The Ghanaian Adinkra symbol “Sankofa” teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Saying good bye to current grads Emily, Oliver, Patty & Jona was very difficult but it was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all they have contributed to the Tree! Lots more pics on our facebook page.
Can’t just wait to see what the next few years of Baobab Community will bring!