On July 17th, the group visited another one of Kathy Knowles’ beautiful libraries, the first being a community library in a small fishing village on the coast, Goi. Before travelling to Cape Coast, we visited the Kathy Knowles’ library in Nima on the outskirts of Accra. The building was gorgeous and so was the location. Recently a huge mosque had been built right behind the library, and it was “mosque-umental” to say the least. In the photo, the library is on the left and people are gathering outside after the performance, with the mosque directly behind.
The purpose of our visit to the Nima library was to do a performance exchange with the Kathy Knowles Theatre Company who will be performing “The Man From the Past” on July 29, a play written by the director of the theatre troupe, Martin Legend. The exchange was set off with a short excerpt from the play and then we followed with a performance of Fume Fume. The dancers, me being one of them, were left breathless and sweating in Nima’s arid heat, feeling good about our performance, a feeling that wouldn’t last very long. The theatre group one-up’ed our performance by doing an eccentric rendition of Gota, a piece that the Baobab kids are now infatuated with. Being theatre kids, the members of the Kathy Knowles Theatre Company made a real show of everything. Their dancing, drumming and singing were done with such energy and utter hilarity, it left us embarrassed and feeling that we hadn’t held up our side of the exchange. They dug us into a deeper hole of self-doubt by continuing on and performing two other pieces which showcased their incredible rhythmic and theatrical skills. Thinking that the show was over, us Baobab kids started conversing in awe over the radicality of what we had seen, only to be shut up by a breakdancing and stomp performance by the same kids we had seen doing amazing, authentic Ghanaian dance. After many backflips and other gymnastic feats, my hands were left red from clapping so much. We left the Nima library after congratulating the performers endlessly and trying our best to deflect compliments made by the theatre kids and onlookers, feeling as if we had in no way deserved them.
All in all, our visit to the Nima library was wonderful. Although we may have felt that our performance lacked in the crazy energy that the theatre kids had brought to the table, we put effort into our performance and that’s what matters. *Cue motivational music*
I myself, hope to return to volunteer at the Nima library during my gap year, with the potential benefit of learning how to drum and dance from the same theatre kids that we watched with incredible awe when we were there.