To mark Black History 365 during the half term, Tuesday 26th October, 4.45 - 6.45 pm the session will focus on the ancient Benin Empire, which was one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal hinterland of West Africa. The session will include a fun quiz, spoken word & ‘Q & A’ to explore the beginnings of the ancient Benin Kingdom, how the name ‘Edo’ became associated with Benin (with me storytelling of ‘The Leopard & the Viper’), how myths, art and other forms of material culture help us to understand why Ancient Benin, and especially its Obas, were so important plus unpack how the Benin royals and merchants encountered other traders, travellers and invaders using my poem, ‘Benin Encounters: When We Ruled’. This work is inspired by research and work initially undertaken at the British Museum in 2009, which Akuba has updated in response to a commission assigned by a north London school in 2020. The Oba image is credited to Godfrey Tuup Duncan.
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