African drumming at Warwick Central State School

PERFECT HARMONY: Cute kids drum home multicultural message

WITH a smile you could spot from miles away, Gabriel Otu drummed home a message of inclusion to students at Warwick Central State School.

His African drumming and dance workshops sparked joy and laughter at Harmony Day celebrations this morning, but teachers said there was an important lesson behind the fun.

"Exposure to different cultures is important so children become more tolerant," Alison Cavanagh said.

 

Gabriel Otu inspired students at Warwick Central State School on Harmony Day in 2019.
Gabriel Otu inspired students at Warwick Central State School on Harmony Day in 2019. Marian Faa

"These workshops are an introduction to a culture the students know very little about, so it is broadening their experiences."

Warwick father Chinemerem Ude agreed that challenging racist beliefs needed to start with children.

"I think awareness is the most important thing," he said.

"We need to talk about it more often and talk about it in schools and stuff like that because I think it starts from the younger ones. If we tell the younger ones we will be making a better generation."

Mr Ude said food and extended family were big parts of his Nigerian culture.

"Some of the beliefs and ideologies are a bit different."

 

African drumming instructor and artist Gabriel Otu.
African drumming instructor and artist Gabriel Otu. Marian Faa


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