patriciafostermckenley.com

Professional Poet, Life Coach, Educator, Artist – Runs Workshops, Gives Reiki & Wellbeing Training

Tag: Creative Practitioner Coach

Sable Poet-In-Residence Patricia Foster McKenley Performs Poetry and Delivers Workshops at the Mboka Festival, 9-14 January 2017, Gambia.

Between 9th and 14th of January 2017, I can safely say I had one of the most life changing experiences during my existence on this Earth.

Late evening of the 8th of January, after a delayed flight, Banjul in Gambia embraced me with open arms, as I visited West Africa for the first time in my life. On the descent from the plane, I momentarily crouched down and touched the Gambian tarmac.

In September 2016, I received a most welcome and at the same time, frightening and exhilarating email from Kadija (George) Sesay, connected to my role as Sable Litmag Poet-in-Residence. The email confirmed my invite to read poetry and deliver workshops, at the SABLE Literary Festival and the Mboka Festival of Arts. The SABLE Literary Festival, is part of the brilliant new collaboration – the Mboka Festival of Arts, Culture and Sport – in warm and delightful Gambia. Mboka means ‘One Family’ in Wolof.

After a 10 year hiatus, the SABLE Literary Festival relaunched, as part of the Mboka Festival, which took place between 7-17 January 2017. 
This assignment, in my role as the first Sable Poet-in-Residence, was an honour and complete privilege. But I was forewarned I would be worked very hard and indeed I was. 

On 9th January 2017, my second day in Gambia, I was extremely excited and equally nervous to be reading that night, at my first ever poetry event in West Africa. In fact, my first ever poetry reading on the continent of Africa. The reading, where I was also a special guest and highly anticipated poet (apparently my online presence and videos were searched for and watched), took place at the new African Poetry Library, also known as Mango Tree (due to the impressive mango tree in its yard). To top it all, the event was captured for the news on Gambian national television.

Patricia Foster McKenley Reading at the Mboka Literary Festival 2017 launch. Photo courtesy of Kadija George.Patricia Foster McKenley Reading at the Mboka Literary Festival 2017 launch. Photo courtesy of Kadija George.

I was exposed to many young, talented Gambian poets and spoken word artists, in particular the dynamic poetry outfit and writers’ group ‘The Clouds’. I was deeply honoured to share the stage with them. 

Patricia Foster McKenley with The Cloud writing collective. Photo: Clovis McKenleyPhoto: Clovis McKenley

I was even more flattered when I was invited by The Clouds to deliver a lecture and talk to them two days later (Wednesday 11th January 2017). My talk focussed on my journey and Life As a Poet since 2001, my role as Sable Poet-in-Residence, plus writing tips they could apply on their own writing journey. This was delivered at their headquarters in Banjul (the capital). I was left very impressed with their business ideas and set up. 

Patricia Foster McKenley delivering lecture in Gambia. Photo: Clovis McKenleyPhoto: Clovis McKenley

Photo: Clovis McKenley

Spending time with The Clouds also gave me an insight into the political and socio dynamic background for young people and their desire for a greater entrepreneurial spirit in Gambia. They spoke eloquently about the potential for Gambia, at a time when Gambia itself was experiencing a shift in presidential personnel. 

On Thursday 12th January 2017, also as part of the Sable Literary Festival and Mboka Festival, I was programmed to deliver a workshop at The African Poetry Library. After much soul searching, deliberation, hair pulling and brow wipes from my (then soon-to-be) fiancé (and my now husband), I finally prepared a keynote presentation, then took a taxi down to the African Poetry Library. The numbers were small, but the workshop produced great discussion and varied and rich pieces of writing.

Patricia Foster McKenley facilitating workshop at Mboka Festival, Gambia, 2017. Photo: Clovis McKenleyPhoto: Clovis McKenley

Friday 13th January was the showcase for the The Mboka Festival. This was held at the beautiful Senegambia Hotel and included the introduction of our esteemed Kenyan writer and keynote speaker Ngugui Wa Thiong’o, who had only arrived in Gambia from California that afternoon, to a traditional and grand drum, dance and song welcome (which was captured on film and posted on YouTube). As well as myself reading a set of poetry to my own produced soundscape and imagery, the evening contained UK based Numbi Arts and their beautiful collaboration with local artists and musicians, storyteller Nzinga and US based half Gambian academic and poet Rosamund S. King.

Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley

Photo: Clovis McKenley

On Saturday 14th January, I was gifted an opportunity that created an immense shift in me as a poetry educator. Even though incredibly challenging due to the size of the class, their delay en route due to traffic, the language hurdles to overcome and the different learning needs, I thoroughly enjoyed delivering a poetry workshop to the Jambanjelly Basic Cycle School, again at the African Poetry Library, a.k.a. Mango Tree, in Banjul Gambia. The thirty-five eager to learn, polite, endearing students, aged eleven to sixteen or seventeen, also overcame shyness and came to grips with my Jamaican British cultural nuances, to produce some excellent work. A presentation of their work, as well as recitals of their favourite poems took place out in the yard, under the mango tree. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life, without a doubt. I’ll be eternally grateful to this wonderful school for having me! 

Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley
Photo: Clovis McKenley

Later that evening, after a searching high and low before sampling vegan Lebanese food, we took a couple of taxi rides to see the excellent production of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s play ‘The Black Hermit’, at Ebunjan Theatre in Bakau, The Gambia. Expertly directed by Janet Badjan-Young, she later stated, “It is a very relevant play for The New Gambia.” The Black Hermit was commissioned by The Mboka Festival and was well received.
Sunday 15th January 2017, the early part of our last day in Gambia was spent exploring the beach, packing and saying our goodbyes to the lovely staff at our hotel. With luggage in toe, we went down to the Senegambia again to attend the brilliant talk given by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. His lasting message to Mboka Festival attendees, particularly local Gambian writers and creatives, was his encouragement ‘to nurture and publish both written and spoken Gambian languages’ to sustain their heritage. Prior to Ngũgĩ’s talk, was a book launch for Rosamond S. King’s collection of poems Rock| Salt| Stone, published by Nightboat Books. 
My week of delivering workshops and poetry, woven between meeting Caribbean-British recently relocated to Gambia, eating and devouring delicious Domoda with vegetables and African fried rice, drinking refreshing ginger and sorrel drinks, visiting a Gambian primary school and being energised and revitalised by the gorgeous Gambian beaches, was over within a matter of hours. Flickers of wonderful memories matching the blinking city night lights of Banjul, as our plane hovered back to rainy London.

Only two days after we returned from Gambia, the outgoing president conceded defeat and the new President was received, heralding new hope and a new direction for beautiful Gambia.

I will be forever grateful for the trust and belief in me, as well as the mentorship provided by Kadija (George) Sesay and Dorothea Smartt, which enabled me to have such a rewarding, character building, culturally engaging and memorable experience that will stay with me my entire life.
By Patricia Foster McKenley.

#SablePoetInResidence #MbokaFestival2017 

Sources: 

A snapshot of The Gambia’s Mboka Festival of Arts Culture and Sport 2017

Posted by James Murua

Link:

http://www.jamesmurua.com/snapshot-gambias-mboka-festival-arts-culture-sport-2017/

This article was first published in: Sable Poet-in-Residence Patricia Foster Reads Poetry and Delivers Workshops at Mboka Festival, Gambia, 2017’,  June 2017. Link: https://www.peepaltreepress.com/blog/inscribe/sable-poet-residence-patricia-foster-reads-poetry-and-delivers-workshops-mboka

Sable Poet-in-Residence, Life Coach & You Are YOU Founder, Patricia Foster with Award for Poetry services to Art and Culture at International Women’s Month 2015 event ‘Together We Rise’. March 28 2015.

IMG_2521.JPG

Photo: Thabo Jaiyesimi

Message from Sable Poet-in-Residence Patricia Foster:

I am still ecstatic and floating, after receiving my award for Poetry Services, within the Art and Culture category, at the empowering awards event Together We Rise.

I had written an acceptance speech, but instead ended up speaking from the heart. I was immensely overwhelmed, as well as inspired by all the other award recipients and their amazing stories. A lot of the women, including myself, had overcome incredible obstacles, to accomplish what we have today.

“Day in, day out we work hard, in our life purpose without little or any recognition. Thank YOU MGT and GCC  for the award!” ~ Patricia Foster

IMG_2468.JPG

 Photo: M. Foster

The event was organised by the MGT and GCC, based in Brixton, who do a lot of work in the community, in particular to uplift and empower young girls.

IMG_2483.JPGPhoto: M. Foster

A most memorable night indeed. Hopefully the first of many awards. Feeling very grateful and honoured. A big thanks to ALL who provided support, my family, friends and the writers and poets who came before me, to pave the way and make it easier for me to receive this award. In particular a big thanks to the founders and ALL members of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen.

Quote on Transition and Change from Patricia Foster – Transitional Coach, Poet, Writer, Speaker, Trainer, Expert.

When we are transitioning towards our goals, our external world may present a series of challenging circumstances for us to conquer.

IMG_5362.PNG

Helping you to transition towards your ultimate goals and desires in life.

Please LIKE and Subscribe to my Facebook page HERE
https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaFosterCoachingServices

to receive Empowerment, Upliftment and Motivational quotes!

Have a wonderful day!

IMG_5361.PNG

Patricia Foster McKenley Coaching, Empowerment & Mentoring Services

Qualified Life Coach (Dip NMC), Mentor, Writer, Speaker and Trainer

IMG_2146.JPGPhoto: C Powell

“Strategically working and partnering with the transitioning YOU; to transform YOU to where your dreams, desires and highest human potential are.

Guiding YOU towards the place where you can confidentially unleash and reveal the True, Authentic YOU!”
~ Patricia Foster McKenley 

WHY CHOOSE TRANSITIONAL AND TRANSFORMATIONAL COACHING?

For many, life can be one, long bumpy road of huge life transitions, such as:

Child birth or child rearing,

Finding a new school for your child/children

Studying or exams

Transition from graduate to successfully employed

A change in job or career

Relocating yourself or family to another country or city

The journey taken after redundancy

From single, to engaged, to being married

Relationship changes, separation or divorce

Major illness, injury or surgery – yourself or a loved one

Changes in your financial circumstances and all that entails

Dealing with life after bereavement

A journey of the mind; moving from limiting beliefs, to positive self talk and higher self-esteem

There may be many obstacles – mental and emotional – which also occur along on this road. The transitioning process can be arduous and draining, time consuming, eroding one’s self esteem at the same time.

Coaching helps you explore the inner tools, actions and solutions needed to journey through your transition.
Consequently, you will unlock the ability to transform your thinking and self belief.

The transformation process will include helping you to identify and establish your ultimate dreams, goals and desires, then transform you towards your personal success and highest potential through your behaviours, actions and belief systems.

MY SUPPORT FOR YOU

My aim is to guide, amongst many, Women, Girls, Sensitive Children and Creative Practitioners to ease your transitioning, helping you receive clarity of thought about what your goals are, to create positive, highly effective habits and facilitate your transformation.

IMG_0787.JPGPhoto: © Patricia Foster McKenley 

ABOUT


Qualified Transitional, Transformational & Empowerment Coach (Dip NMC)

Works in The UK and Internationally


Specialises in:

Children,

Teenagers,

NEETs (Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training),

Girls / Young Women,

Women,

EBD (Emotional Behavioural Disorders) Students,

Corporate Team Building,

Writers,

Artists,

Creative Practitioners,

Creative Entrepreneurs,

Health and Wellbeing Practitioners

Holistic Health Seekers,

Vegans

COACHING SESSIONS

Coaching sessions with individuals or groups, in person or via Skype

IMG_2331.JPGPhoto courtesy of Microsoft Office Online Clip Art and Media Gallery

COACHING AIMS

Empowering young people, adults and children.

Raising confidence levels in adult learners

Providing life guidance, mentoring and emotional support for disaffected young adults

Working with young offenders on reparation orders. Providing empowering tools and multimedia solutions as well as pastoral guidance and coaching

Working with young people, women and men in prisons

IMG_0423.JPGFacilitating a personal development workshop, at the ‘Every Woman Inspired’ event in Kingston, Jamaica (November 2013). Photo: Denise Hall

Also delivers Personal Development and Empowerment Workshops at Conferences, Seminars, Retreats, Inset Training and Corporate Events

CONTACT

UK: +447956 476 547

Email: prfoster@hotmail.com

Skype: patricia_foster_trainer

Twitter: @Ms_P_Foster

Facebook: LIKE the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaFosterCoachingServices