My name is Zahra Badua and I am the administrative assistant here at dance Immersion – welcome to my blog. Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting a community corner where I will be discussing various topics that affect the African Diaspora. In addition, I will be speaking with prominent people within our community to get their perspectives on various topics. In this first blog, I intend on starting a conversation about the upkeep of African and Caribbean traditions, primarily our traditional/folk songs and dances.
Let me begin by introducing myself. I am a Ghanaian dancer/ teacher/ choreographer originally from Montreal, Quebec. My passion for dance started at a very young age as a means to learn and understand my African heritage. I moved to Toronto to pursue a career in criminal justice until I realised that dance was my true calling.
My artistic journey has brought me to a place where I am fascinated with the art of storytelling and dance. In the African culture, song and dance are the ways our history and culture are passed down from one generation to another. Our elders are the ones that teach us, they are the ones that uphold and keep our traditions in their purest form. Their knowledge and expertise are passed down orally.
Lately, I find myself questioning if our rich traditions will become extinct, since they are taught orally. What happens when an elder dies and we did not get the chance to gather the information before they transitioned?
There is an African proverb that says:
“When an Elder passes on, it is like losing a library”
How do we trace back our rich history when the elders are no longer present?
I am curious to know what your thoughts are. Please comment on this blog if you would like to participate in this community discussion.
If you have thoughts that you would rather not share publicly, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.