ABURUKUSU Center for Creative Learning
Experiential Team Building
Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum, PhD
I am a Professor of Music, teaching courses in Black Music and Ethnomusicology, and the Director of African Drumming and dance ensembles at higher education institutions. I am also an award-winning and nationally-recognized playwright and performer focused on practice-led research and sensory studies on Music of African Diaspora.
I have developed Bi Nka Bi Practice Workshop for team building, conflict resolution utilizing my unique background and methods blending creative expression, scholarship, and experimental learning towards an understanding and unified discourse
How can we work together?
I grew up participating in my family's drumming ensemble, with its different rhythms, tones, and performances. As a practicing musician and performer of Ghanaian drums, atenteben bamboo flute, and the adenkum stamping gourd rattles, and a singer, I have launched African Drumming and Dance Programs at institutions in Florida, Georgia, and Illinois. The early exposure to my family’s music ensemble and my subsequent study of musicology were crucial in raising my consciousness about diversity, community, pushing boundaries, and questioning norms. They helped me accept myself, honor my cultural background, and celebrate my authentic self as an individual and as a member of community. As a musicology consultant, I work with different institutions, using musicking and storytelling at lunch-and-learn events, and such. I give advise on the importance of music as a humanizing force among people, and how music serves as a medium for raising consciousness. As the Akan proverb instructs, “one finger cannot effectively wipe the face,” (nsateaa baako ntumi mpopa animu), I provide guidance on how to integrate music into programming to create spaces where all feel valued, respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to their work, where healthy relationships can flourish.
Bi Nka Bi Workshop Facilitator
As Bi Nka Bi Facilitador, I work with different organizations to cultivate welcoming, sustainable, and productive healing spaces where everyone’s authentic selves are welcomed, valued, and celebrated. I provide workshops using ancestral knowledge, proverbs, music, movement, games, play, storytelling, and other indigenous teachings to help craft a plan to build sustenance and the common good of our communities. The sessions are grounded in several Ancestral teachings of the Akan of Ghana: Wisdom, Respect, Love, Humility, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Interdependence, and Community.
I also facilitate "Kanko Circles", storytelling circles, drum and dance workshops, reading circles, and other community-building activities for a range of organizations.
I am a sought-after speaker. I give talks, thought-provoking Keynote addresses, book readings. I give performance lectures on my performance art pieces Walking With My Ancestors and “Who Will Sing for Their Feet,” based on my experiences in the former dungeons for enslaved Africans. The play imagines what enslaved Africans experienced. My talks, which often include storytelling, personal experiences, call and response, and experimental activities, have been described by colleagues and attendees as motivational, organic, and transformative. I give speeches on just about any human situation. My keynotes will enrich your events.
"Nana, was incredibly passionate about creating a community and that she cared deeply about getting to know each of us and our individual lived experiences.
I would highly recommend this workshop to others because I know for certain that I have been profoundly changed for the better after taking part in it."
K. Megan Hopper, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Communication