Babu’s Fireplace

African Stones Talk (AST): International Stone Sculpture Symposium (2011 – ongoing)
November 17, 2021
Hybrid and Virtual events and international collaborations on cultural music events
November 26, 2021

An ongoing project which started in September 2019 and is being developed under the title: ‘Babu’s Fireplace’ (grandparents’ forum), mentoring of children/youth by elders through Culture to assist transmission of disappearing African heritage among the youth.


This is a creative solution using our rich African Cultural heritage where young people were guided towards life, giving them a foundation to be properly oriented in life via this important aspect of education. ‘BABU’ means grandfather in Kiswahili, Kenya’s national language. A language spoken widely in the East African region. ‘Fireplace’ is the location usually from where grandparents in traditional Africa narrated stories in the evenings to their grandchildren as they waited for supper and/or before going to sleep.

Use of riddles & proverbs, reading books, inviting other elders as co-hosts and other relevant guests are featured.

The topics of discussion are covered using various ICH (Intangible Cultural Heritage) themes, like oral narratives with an emphasis on trickster and resilience stories where only the smartest and the strongest survive. The audience participation of the kids in the show is an important part of African Storytelling. There is a presence of an audience of kids whose faces would not be seen for their privacy.

Hosted by Prof. Francis X. Gichuru, a parent, grandfather (Babu), educationist, linguist, teacher, creative and Founder –African Cultural Regeneration Institute (ACRI), Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisor to UNESCO.

A short theatre presentation of the same concept was commissioned by The Ministry of Sports; Culture and Heritage launched the “Work For Pay” Kshs. 100 million stimulus package for artists, actors and musicians at the Kenya Cultural Centre, June 2020.