Updated: Aug 13

29th October 2018 By Damilola Gbinigie

Underground Stories

A baby has 9 months gestation before it’s ready to face the world and in the case of ARAWELO this baby has certainly been longer in the making.  This can only mean that ARAWELO is long over-due, matured, resilient and more than ready to take on the world on arrival.  Way back in September 2017 when Demi Wilson-Smith, Shukri Ibrahim and Poppy Clifford put their heads together in creating a play based on the ancient story of ARAWELO a Somali Warrior Queen who was not afraid to defy the injustice and limitations imposed on women in her days, whilst her struggles and challenges resonate with women of today from all around the globe, they can also draw inspiration from the symbolism of female empowerment she has left behind.  The relevance of her qualities in today’s world inspired the production team to press ahead in making the play a reality to be shared by all.

The professionalism and relentless efforts of Demi, Shukri, Poppy and other members of the Arawelo Company Tesni Kujore, Srabani Sen, Peace, Freya Blyth, Sadia Ahmed, Hannah Abdule, Selbyen and Dia ensured that audiences from communities across London have been fortunate enough to experience a ground breaking production.  As the production shatters on stage it has succeeded in melding traditional acting techniques with modern ones, communities are educated and empowered, gender barriers have been broken down whilst old myths have been challenged and a beam of heroine has been shone on Queen Arawelo and finally women can come away from the play with inspiration and empowerment.

As the month of October draws to an end, we bid a reluctant farewell to the Black History Month, 10th Anniversary of Kayd’s Somali Week Festival and finally London Somali Art Week Festival but the show must go on as Arawelo goes to Stockwell Park Community Centre in November 2018.  The making of this play is evidence of what can be achieved with arts and creativity, hard work, perseverance and support from the community.  The show has been well received opening up discussions for various Somali, BAME and Women communities.

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#AfricanCulture #Arawelo #PerformingArts #BlackHistoryMonth #DiversityinTheatre #SomaliWeekFestival #Theatre #AraweloThePlay #BAME #Arawelo2018 #Somali

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