Tales from the Congo Basin on Friday 29 October at HOME’s PUSH Festival 2021

Families joined storyteller and musician Emmanuela Yogolelo for a storytelling, singing and music performance.

Families joined in with singing, clapping, body percussion and heard music and stories from the Congo Basin in a special family-friendly event suitable for children aged 8+ at HOME

Emmanuela Yogolelo, who was born in DR Congo, shared stories from the Congo Basin.

Spanning six countries, the Congo Basin is home to the second-largest rainforest on Earth, and the world’s deepest river. It’s rich in wildlife, including gorillas, forest elephants, hippos, bonobos, and okapis.

Emmanuela’s performance was inspired by a research and development trip she made to DR Congo in summer 2021 which was funded by Arts Council England. 

The interactive performance used music and storytelling delighted family audiences and gently explored climate change and its links to colonialism, race, and migration.

Emmanuela says:

“Many rains/moons ago, where I come from people use to come together most evenings and before bedtime, under a tree or around a fire, to listen to adults telling stories and learn. Some evenings, a grandmother would be the storyteller. She could start her story with a song, and where I come from, music is communal and participative, so everyone would join in with singing, percussion, or dance.”

“I can tell you straight away something is happening with Mother Nature, something has been done to the environment. Just like those people in the past, you can hear our personal experiences of climate change from a justice point of view and join in the story.”

This performance was followed by a Q&A with Emmanuela and artist-activist, Kooj Chuhan. The thought-provoking discussion centred on how colonialism, conflict, race, and migration connect with climate change.

Originally developed with HOME as part of the Horizons Festival.




CAN is supported by