Hitchin artists to hit back at Trump by taking African culture to schools


Thabani - Credit: Archant

Artists based in Hitchin are to hit back at US President Donald Trump’s reported comments about African countries by taking the continent’s culture into schools – free of charge.

President Donald Trump speaking in New London, Connecticut, on May 17, 2017.
Picture: Patrick Kell

President Donald Trump speaking in New London, Connecticut, on May 17, 2017. Picture: Patrick Kelley/US Coast Guard Headquarters - Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Mr Trump was widely condemned as racist last month after he reportedly called African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador, “s***holes”. He denied using derogatory words, but admitted his language had been “tough”.

Thabani Nyoni, a Hitchin-based musician originally from Zimbabwe, has reacted with a pledge to take his firm Kultural Fusion’s workshops into schools to give a taste of the real Africa.

“I’m a parent with two children, and a proud African-born man who values diversity and all cultures,” said Thabani, 44.

“As a parent and as an African, I was outraged at President Trump’s comments.

“Diversity is vitally important at this moment of time – especially when the President of the United States makes such inflammatory remarks about continents such as Africa.

“We need to remind children, via education, of the wonders that places such as Africa have to offer.”

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The Kultural Fusion workshops feature African dance, music and storytelling. Thabani said his team would visit any school in Herts, Beds or Bucks without charging a fee – but would appreciate a small contribution for travel and admin purposes.

Thabani, born in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo, left when he was four years old but retains strong links with southern Africa. He has returned to the continent regularly to put on workshops and perform, including in Kenya’s Rift Valley Festival – which has been called Africa’s Glastonbury.

Back in 2010, when South Africa hosted the World Cup, he released a football-themed song using traditional instruments in aid of anti-poverty charity World Vision.

Kultural Fusion has been going since 1996, and claims to have worked in more than 4,000 schools during its 22 years.

The firm is set to start raising funds to safeguard the future of its cultural workshops in the community, with new Saturday-morning sessions planned for children aged from four to seven and eight to 12.

To you’d like one of the workshops at your school, give Thabani a call on 01462 234459 or email him on kulturalfusionworkshops@hotmail.com.

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