The Artists

All the artists listed were our partners in a 3 year project introducing youngpeople to contemporary African arts and issues (link to Kuumba page).

They all perform or exhibit nationally and internationally, as well as beingskilled and enthusiastic teachers who enable workshop participants toenjoy themselves, learn and engage with wider issues including personal,community and global development.


Ukachi Akalawu is a dancer who has worked across a wide range of Africanrooted dance forms from Jive to Jazz. She combines understanding andexperience of the traditions of African dance with a commitment to itscontinuing development and has developed her own particular form of Africandance – Afro-Xplo - a fusion of Sabar (Sengalese) and Jazz moves.

Gloria Ojulari Sule is a community artist who exhibits and undertakescommissions of all kinds – painting, installations, street art – and uses avariety of media including drawing, textiles, photography and film. She isinterested in creating work that dispels the notion of stereotypes and drawson themes of race, identity and culture. She is also committed to promotingknowledge and understanding of the contemporary art of Africa and thediaspora.

Rommi Smith is a poet and playwright who works to fuse music and thespoken word together. She has been performing her work since the ageof 14 and has held numerous residencies, nationally and internationally. In2007, she became Parliamentary Writer in Residence, the first post of its kindin history and focused on creatively exploring the British Slave Trade and theact of abolition.

Muntu Valdo is a “one man blues band” from the Cameroon. From a veryearly age, he began to feel that music, song and poetry would allow him todiscover the depths of his true self and that art would help him steer clearof life’s pitfalls. Now a singer and multi-instrumentalist, he has played withmany of the greats of African music including Ali Farka Toure, Manu Dibangoand Tony Allen and as a solo artist, he’s currently taking World Music/Jazzaudiences by storm.

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