Who Are We?

Robert 

My name is Robert Koffie Fugah and I am a professional African drumming and dance instructor and performer. 

I grew up in a village called Abor in the Volta Region of Ghana, where traditional music and dance is part of our daily lives. Music and dance are a huge part of me. I undertook professional African dance and drumming training in Accra. I have taught African dance and drumming for about 15 years in schools and to expatriates, both in Ghana and abroad. 

Since making New Zealand my home in August 2013, I've been very busy working locally in Otago and supporting drumming groups and running workshops around New Zealand. I've worked in schools across the country, and thoroughly enjoy finding opportunities to share my love of African drumming and dance with kiwi kids and adults. Highlights this year have been drumming for the Cricket World Cup and Football Under 20 World Cup across New Zealand. I am proud to be part of the Awherika performance group, and very recently I was the guest artist on TV2’s ‘What Now’, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I am passionate about my African heritage, and am proud to be able to share this love with others. 

Jennifer 

I LOVE helping people to discover their innate musicianship!

I had a very blessed upbringing with amazing musical opportunities and encouragement. I danced, sang, and tootled my way into serious study in Wellington, Sydney and London. I won 2 TUI awards for my children’s albums and was fortunate enough to call the Sydney Opera House my office for a while. I’m loving living in the Manawatu … and here’s what I do now.

I founded and run the Manawatu Community Choir … where ANYONE can come and sing for 2 hours a week. I love helping people rediscover their voices  and you can also come to me for vocal coaching. 

I adore African drumming I run weekly sessions for adults in Palmerston North, catering for beginners, and those who’ve had a go already, and I lead a spectacular group of drummers called Manawataki - and we’re always up for enhancing YOUR event. Alongside drumming of course comes African Dance and I am excited to be currently teaching Drum Dance…Groove AND drum! 

It’s my absolute pleasure to be helping others discover and re-discover joy through music! Visit me on Facebook

Sam

As well as being one of the organisers and tour guides for Akuma Adventures, I am currently a hearing specialist (audiologist) based in Manawatu. After 16 years as a professional musician in Sydney and Auckland, I developed not only a hearing loss, but also a personal interest in the long term effects of noise in the workplace.  I’ve supplied lots of musicians ear plugs to folks around here..!  Heartland Audiology is my private clinic, and I also see babies and young children at Whanganui and Palmerston North Hospitals

Whilst I love and have played mainly classical music, my current musical interests are very diverse.  I play bass ukulele in Ukephoria, as well as bass guitar in other groups.  I love finding out about lots of different traditional musical instruments as well, and do my best to play didjeridoo (Australia), ngoni (african harp), djembe (african hand drum).  My current favourite is the Dun Duns - stick drums from West Africa.  I love the profound connections between people that were made during our 2016 Akuma Adventure - and I look forward to our next trip in 2018!

© Noteworthy Productions Trust 2017