CultureTree opens centre in London, to promote African languages

Some African kids learning craft at the CultureTree Centre in London

Culturetree Centre, a creative space dedicated to preserving and promoting African languages, arts and culture for Africans especially Nigerians living in London, recently threw its doors open amidst pomp and fanfare.

Gbemisola Isimi, CEO and Founder of CultureTree told The Guardian that the centre would be the desired destination for Africans looking to learn how to speak their mother tongue and conserve their African heritage in general.

The centre will offer African language courses in Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Swahili and more with songs, games, stories, art and drama as the key method of teaching, in order to bring the language to life and make the learning process a fun and interactive experience.

Arts and Crafts Workshops are also available at the centre with classes such as African hair braiding techniques, African batik, African jewelry making, African wall hangings and much more in order to equip the attendees with new creative and business skills. And for health and wellness, African dance and fitness classes such as yoga classes, traditional African dance and contemporary African dance classes for parents, babies and toddlers will also be available at the centre.

The centre also boasts of a library and reading room dedicated to authors across the African continent.

“African storytelling is a big part of CultureTree and that is why the new centre will be collaborating with publishers such as Cassava Republic, Farafina and industry experts such as Kola Tubosun, a Nigerian linguist, writer, scholar and cultural activist; children’s book author and illustrator Mylo Freeman, and many more. We are open for collaborations at the centre,” says Isimi.

She called on all African educators and businesses interested in collaborating and teaching children and adults in the areas of African language classes, dance classes, arts and crafts workshops, acting and music classes/performances, storytelling, Maths and English classes, STEM classes, hair braiding workshops, fitness sessions, business coaching and skills training to partner with the initiative.

“Our mission at CultureTree is to preserve and promote African languages and engage Africans in the diaspora through educational and cultural programmes. We produce animated Yoruba nursery rhymes, Yoruba folktales and other educational resources. We also produce children’s programmes, such as Yoruba Stars, Welcome to my wonderful world; Sing.Learn.Imagine and many more which are distributed across TV channels in the UK and Africa.”

She continued: “We have an interactive Yoruba parent and toddler playgroup which we call CultureTree Play Club where our Yoruba nursery rhymes and songs help children become more familiar with Yoruba and build up their vocabulary,” she said.

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