Mara Menzies is an oral tradition storyteller. She is passionate about bringing African stories to life and delights in sharing tales with a variety of audiences. Her stories range from traditional folklore such as ‘How the cat came to live indoors’ and ‘The Seven Day Story’, to stories based on actual historical characters such as Kenyan freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi. She is keen to keep up the oral tradition of African storytelling in Scotland and to find audiences with whom she can share the wonders of Africa through the spoken word.
Mara works with a wide range of audiences but her main focus is with children of nursery and primary school age. Mara is keen to provide an alternative view of Africa, a view often ignored by the media. Stories that expose the values, beliefs, environments and attitudes of millions of people who have known Africa, visited, lived or had some connection to it at some point. She firmly believes the way in which people view the world and choose to live in it can often be shaped by a simple story.
She has told stories in schools and libraries across Scotland, at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and put on a storytelling show during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she received rave reviews. She was also the only storyteller at the annual African Film Festival in Scotland, ‘Africa in Motion 2008’. She took part in the Children Book Festival, Ireland and has also told stories at Hear and Tell and the Guid Crack Club.
Mara Menzies is the Creative Director at Toto Tales a dynamic British theatre company that seeks to share the rich heritage & stories of African people and culture. (http://www.tototales.co.uk/)