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The Venus Bushfires on storytelling and bridging the middle

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Helen Isibor-Epega, who writes and performs as The Venus Bushfires, was born in Nigerian and moved to London aged seven. She is a composer, singer-songwriter and performance artist and the two different cultures of her homes have heavily influenced her creatively. Last year, she debuted her Pidgin English Opera – the first Pidgin Opera in the world – in Kings Cross, London. Titled “Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera”, the piece fuses a widely spoken vernacular language with a classical high art.

“I want to share with you the importance of bridging the middle,” says Isibor-Epega. “Growing up there much that I really really longed to hear, except for the phrase ‘once upon a time’,” says Isibor-Epega. “I would know I was about ot be transported into a magical fairy land.”

But fearing the phrase she knew would follow –“the end” – Isibor-Epega has spent her life making up her own middle. She claims to be an optimist and a dreamer (“that’s probably why I’m a musician”), but most importantly she is a storyteller. Around the world, people are brought together by stories that help them bridge the gaps between their understanding of the world.

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*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.

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