Author: africbeat_admin

Having Fun Is A Recipe For Joy – Find Out Why

One of our favourite things to do at African Beat is run workshops and events with kids. There is something about the unbridle joy of beating in time and moving with the beat that makes everyone smile. It is so much FUN!

As adults, we sometimes get caught up in the seriousness of life and concern about being watched or judged.

While adults feel it is their job to teach the younger generation, sometimes there are thing adults can learn from watching kids.

Here is what we have learnt from our years working with young people teaching them how to drum:

  1. Being creative is fun

Watching kids lose themselves in drumming is uplifting; the abandon and joy in hitting the drum and making music. Kids are so good at immersing in creativity when we can get them away from the computer screen. Being creative is worthwhile – it opens opportunities to try new ideas and helps with our problems solving abilities and self-expression.

  1. Being brave

For many people, the thought of singing or dancing in front of others is daunting and makes their toes curl up in fear. When kids are young, they’re not worried about fear, failure or humiliation. They are still full of hope because they don’t know any better. When kids get in front of their drum and let go, you can see the joy in what they are doing. They are not worried about if people are looking at them, they are just having fun.

  1. Being silly and laughing more

Kids find silliness everywhere – in bodily noises, in videos on YouTube, in corny knock knock jokes. Laughter makes us happier, it makes us less stressed and releases feel-good chemicals that make us … well … feel good. Watching kids crack up over something silly they have seen or enjoying a fun activity together like drumming, brings a smile to our faces. We just want more people to have fun and enjoy life a little more.

Team Work – That’s The Difference

Sometimes getting team dynamics is not about having a team building guru come in but about remembering the joy of team work.

It is easy in the hurley burley of day-to-day tasks, deadlines and pressures to forget we are working with other human beings. The pressure to get a job done can sometimes over shadow the team connection. We forget to rely on each other. Instead seeing any interruptions or distraction as an intrusion into our space.

Of course, there are some things we need to do as individuals but the ultimate success of any project or organisation comes down the sum of its parts – the team.

Next time you are cursing being part of a team and the boss is suggesting a team building exercise, remember these six points of the benefits of being in high functioning and happy team.

  1. Teams that creative together, thrive together

There is something exciting about putting heads together to come up with creative solutions, brainstorming new ways to look at an old problem. When teams get creative together, there is infusion of motivation and freshness that comes from combining unique perspectives. Being creative on your own also means there is no one there to celebrate the triumph of coming up with something new.

  1. Teams that complement

When you bake a cake, you have to have all the right ingredients to get it right, so it rises. Same with a team – none of us have all the skills and characteristics necessary to be good at everything. Each of us has our set of abilities that when combined with a team can add value to the overall project.

  1. Trusting in your team

When we rely on others to get a job done, it builds trust. WE know that person has got our back, we are not on our own. Of course, we are not always going to agree with each other -we are human after all but an effective team working together can create a strong bond.  When you trust your team, it gives space for creativity to flourish and is a safe place to come up with new ideas.

Without trust, nothing works, and this is where things fall apart. That’s where a good team building session with African Beat comes into play. The power of drumming, being in harmony together brings people closer and cements a trusting environment.

  1. Teams learn how to deal with conflict

You cannot have a bunch of people working together and everyone gets along all the time. People come from different backgrounds, different ideas and different habits- some of those can be irksome. But working as a team can teach us how to work through those differences, be more accepting and how to avoid minor differences become major conflicts.

  1. Teams take ownership

When teams trust each other and embraces each other’s strengths and differences, it creates a great place to take ownership of wins (and even losses).

  1. Teams embrace risk taking

Not the bungee jump type but the strength in unity type. There is reason for the saying safety in numbers. When working something together, it feels safer to stick your neck out as a team rather than just you. Working as a team means you can take more risks because the team has got each other’s backs.

African Beat has impressed groups from 10 to over 1000 participants. We have the experience under our belts to deliver a successful drum team building event for groups of all shapes and sizes. So, if you want to try something a little different but something that is jam packed with fun and laughter, contact us today.

The Reasons Your Team Is Not Happy

A lot of effort goes into creating a high functioning team, right from the get-go. It is vital to ensure there is the right mix of skills, experience and personality make up.

What happens when this team dissolves into unhappiness, filled with backbiting, arguing and become unproductive. It can spell disaster for the project.

There are few reasons a team becomes unhappy. Luckily, there are fixes to get them back on track.

1. You

As the leader of a team, it is your job to guide, support and encourage. Sadly, many leaders are more like managers – bossing the team around, micromanaging and getting the way of progress. If you are just sitting back in your office expecting the team to do all the work and you get the glory, then your team is not going to respect you. A good leader is transparent, engages with the team, walks the walk, supports the team to grow and learn, listens to feedback and takes the time to keep the team up to date.

2. Recognition

Your team works hard to get the job done and if no one ever says thank you, or job well done, chances are there will be discontent in the ranks. Team recognition is vital to the ongoing happiness of any workplace. But there is not one size fits all. If you know your team well, then make sure you have appropriate recognition for all personality types. Some people like a public pat on the back by being acknowledge at team meetings or company newsletters, others like a monetary award like a gift card or voucher. Someone else might like time off, with an early mark on a Friday afternoon or assigning a new project that they can oversee, taking into their leadership skills.

3. Unfamiliarity

They say breeds contempt. If your team is reasonably new, it may be worth investing in a team building exercise like drumming with African Beat. We provide a drum for everyone, transforming your team into a fun, dynamic drumming orchestra. The overall experience of making music together showcases the importance of teamwork.

4. Training

Most people enjoy learning new skills. Take the time to recognise ambition and the desire to learn and grow in your team. Invest in training programs that enhance your people’s skills so they can add more value to the team. Not investing in training – internal or external – lead to stagnation and stale thinking.

You have to keep things fresh.

Need some fresh, fun ideas to keep your team smiling, contact us today.

Team Building Ideas To Invigorate Your Team

Team Building ideas

Looking for Team Building Ideas? Our Interactive Drumming can be the perfect Team Building activity for a host of different occasions. Dynamic, authentic performances bring people together and get everyone involved in a fun packed performance you won’t want to end!

Download our Free Team Building Video, now!

Annual Conference

Take a break from your routine annual conference to stimulate your participants. Get your conference off to an energetic start, increase concentration & enthusiasm.

  • Explosive ‘wake-up’ session, fun icebreaker, motivational team building activity
  • African Beat can tailor a program to suit, incorporating your conference theme

Celebrations

Drum up your celebration! Choose an interactive drumming experience for everyone, or a showcase performance. No matter how big or small the party, African Beat guarantees it will be one to remember.

  • Weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and birthday parties
  • Indoor or outdoor

Looking for ideas for events, incentives, motivational activities, team building games and activities, icebreaker games, corporate fun? Look no further!

Ice Breaker/Energiser

With a drum for everyone, the audience is transformed into a percussion orchestra, totally enthralled and inspired by the rhythm. Surprise and engage your delegates with an explosive, interactive drumming experience.

 

Company Christmas Party Entertainment

A staff party at Christmas is an excellent way of saying a big thank you to your staff.

  • Inclusive, creative, upbeat, very merry!
  • Get everyone into the rhythm of the festive season
  • End the year on a high note

Motivational Speakers

Imagine the reactions of your audience when the ironic ‘motivational speaker’ does not utter a single word, yet speaks volumes about teamwork through the power of drumming. This refreshing and creative approach is more powerful than words.

Office Parties/Retreats

If you are looking for inspiration for your office party, African Beat guarantees a fun, memorable and unique experience.

  • Liven up the party
  • Staff will be talking about the party for weeks afterwards

 

Road Shows

Drum up support for your products across the country and impress consumers with a dynamic image of your company!

    • Add a wow factor to your roadshow
    • Draw attention to your products & create a highly memorable event.

Product launches

African Beat’s drumming spectacular can increase your company’s visibility, helping to promote your product in an original and exciting way with maximum impact and energy.

Awards nights

Drumming is a powerful way to express recognition and honour success. African Beat creates unique awards celebrations, guaranteed to excite participants and leave a lasting impression.

      • Drive your team to exceed expectations
      • Achieve personal and organisational goals.

Team Building Ideas

Need more Team Building Ideas? Contact us, we love to talk all things team building.

Christmas Around The World

Around November, many of us start thinking about Christmas and holidays. Australia is such a diverse country we thought we would take a look at how people celebrate the season around the world.

Our team is from Africa, so let’s start there.

Tuza, African Beat’s founder, is from Ghana.

Celebrations start from the December 20 all the way through to the beginning of January. It is a time of family and friends.

Christmas Eve is a night of church services punctuate with drumming and dancing. Children put on plays and choirs lift their voices in celebration. With over 66 languages in Ghana, songs are sung in many languages. The celebrations go into late at night. There are fireworks and parties and by Christmas Day, the churches are full once again, with people dressing in their colourful traditional clothes. After church, people head for home to share gifts with their loved ones.

Let’s go somewhere cold now. Living in Australia, many of us dream of white Christmas, snuggled up by the fire, drinking egg nog and eating smores. Our festive season is punctuated by sweat, lots of cold drinks and wilting under a fan.

Unless you hop on a plane to the northern hemisphere, you will have to just watch A Christmas Carol.

We are heading to Canada.

There are so many cultures living in Canada – originating from French, English, Irish, Scottish, German, Norwegian, Ukrainian and native/first nation influences. Unlike Australian Christmases where we open gifts Christmas day but many Canadians open their presents on Christmas Eve.

Christmas dinner is turkey with all the trimmings like mash potatoes and vegetables and after eating its skating, skiing and tobogganing. If you get a chance to go to Canada, make sure you check the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is one of the oldest and largest Santa parades in the world! It started in 1913 when Santa was pulled through the streets of Toronto. Children along the route followed Santa and marched along with him. It’s been taking place for over 100 years and now is a huge event with over 25 animated floats and 2000 people taking part! It’s broadcast on TV around the world.

Things are a little different in Greece.

Children fill the streets Christmas eve singing carols, also known as kalanda. They play drums and triangles as they go. You see the boys carrying little boats decorated with nuts painted gold.

Many homes have a Christmas tree but traditionally homes are decorated with a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire suspended across the rim. A sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross and hangs from the wire with water to keep it fresh. Once a day someone, usually the mother of the family, dips the cross and basil into some holy water and uses it to sprinkle water in each room of the house.

India

In India, Christmas is not a huge event as less than 3 percent of the people are Christians. If you are in the country and want to celebrate, head to Mumbai for midnight mass. Walk with families to Christmas mass where the churches are educated in Poinsettia flowers and candles, then enjoy a massive feast of curries after and opening of presents.

 

100 Faces Of Small Business

100 faces

Earlier this year, African Beat, namely Tuza (our Artistic Director) became one of the 100 Faces of Small Business in Queensland. We are honoured to be whittled down to the chosen 100.
The 100 Faces of Small Business is a government initiative that showcases the human stories behind diverse small businesses and highlights their unique experiences and inspiring stories.

We’ve all heard that when you buy a product/service from a small business some actually does a happy dance! Well, when this small business found out that we’d be one of the 100, there was happy dancing x 100!

We are Australia Wide

So, although we are one of the 100 faces in Queensland, our business is actually national. Our HQ is based on the beautiful Gold Coast. While Master Drummer Tuza lives in Sydney, we work with incredible performers in all the major cities of Australia. Did you know, we even sponsor 3 performers to come from Ghana (West Africa) to come to Australia for a national school tour?

Meet the Face

You can see our profile on the Queensland Government website.

Master Drummer Tuza Afutu

The profile has information about Tuza’s background including how he started out in a poor village & now runs a successful company with hundreds of drums to get the audience involved in his interactive shows. You can read more about Tuza & our background in our About section.

Tuza also explains that a lot of his participants (especially adults) think that they have no rhythm. Tuza strongly disagrees and promises he can get anyone drumming in rhythm.

“Rhythm is inside you”

Which African Entertainment Company?

sydney excursions

Stop! Before Booking ANY Entertainment…

With so much choice online these days, how do you know which African Entertainment company to book?
Let me ask you a simple question… How do you know you are getting 100% Authentic African drummers and dancers at the best price? Can all these companies who claim to offer African entertainment be relied on? In our experience, no they can’t! We’ve heard some horror stories over the years and we don’t want to be tarnished with the same brush!

So, before booking, please consider the questions below.

African Entertainment Company

  • Do they have Working With Children Checks and Public Liability?
  • Are the performers authentic? Meaning are they actually from Africa?
  • Is the entertainment authentic? Meaning is it a traditional cultural experience?
  • Can they provide you with at least 10 testimonials from various organisations?
  • Do they offer entertainment that includes African Dance, Music, Drumming and Singing?
  • Can they deliver nationwide? If so are you sure they will turn up or not cancel on you at short notice?
  • Do they have credibility or do you know how long they have been around for?
  • Do they have a dedicated support team to help you coordinate your event?

If they can’t answer these questions with full confidence we strongly recommend that you keep searching! You don’t want to ruin your event or day by booking the wrong company. We have seen so many organisations let down by companies claiming to provide similar experiences, so choose wisely.

For an African Entertainment Company you can rely on consider us, African Beat. We just don’t provide entertainment but an experience you will never forget. We take pride in every experience we provide and promise you will not be disappointed.

Spring Clean Your Workplace

The doonas have been put away at home. You no longer need to rug up like an eskimo to get to work in the morning and when you leave, the sun is still shining.

Spring is here and many people are giving their home a once-over. So why not give the office a spring clean. Time to go through the filing cabinets, clear out all the many plastic lids in the staff kitchen and reenergise the team.

Giving the workplace a spring clean is more than just cleaning, it is removing any stagnant energy built up after a winter of colds and flus, the lower energy that comes when it gets cold.

Cleaning up gets rid of clutter … but where to start?

Your desk

When was the last time your desk had a good wipe over? Chances are you came to work with a snuffly nose and a pesky cough, breathing germs all over your space. Time to get the spray cleaner and wipe down your phone, keyboard, mouse and desk. File away old papers, get rid of the piles in your to do list and organise into something resembling order. Then hit your email inbox getting rid of junk mail and emails you have responded to.

Equipment check

There is nothing more annoying than a printer that constantly jams up. If cash flow allows, maybe it is time to get a new one. You have probably heard lots of cursing coming from the photocopier room and this frustration leads to a decrease in productivity. Spring is a great time to check all office equipment to make sure it is working and functioning at 100%.

Team spirits

They’ve done studies finding winter makes people sad. It is called seasonable affective disorder (SAD). It impacts motivation, energy and loss of interest. Then there is the constant cycle of illness that comes with every winter – ongoing colds and flus that wear people down. It is worth considering a team spring clean of the spirit. A great way to do this is by doing a team building day with African Beat. Armed with drums, the team comes to you to help your team make music together. It is inspiring, brings everyone together as a renewed team and is the ultimate mood lifter.

Salaka’s Favourite Ghanaian Recipe

Ghanaian Recipe

Salaka’s Ghanaian recipe is delicious.

Did you know Salaka means sharing? Salaka want to share their culture with Australians. Here’s our favourite dish you can make at home. 

Ghanaian Goat Curry/Stew

Ghanaian Recipe Ingredients

Lots of Oil for frying*

Chopped Goat Meat with bones**

Onions

Garlic

Chilli Pepper***

Ginger, grated (approx. 2 TBsp)

Tomato Puree (approx. 4 small tins)

Chopped Tomatoes (4 tins)

Maggi cubes, at least 6 (according to taste) alternative use ordinary stock cubes.

Curry Powder – Madras – (3-4 Tsp If you want a stronger curry flavour, add more)

Fresh Coriander, chopped (lots)

Fresh Parsley (preferably flat leaf), chopped (approx. 2 Tsp).

Water

Method

Put all the ingredients, except for the onions, chilli and tomato paste into a large oven casserole dish or slow cooker/crock pot.

Fry the onions and chilli pepper until the onions are soft, and then add the tomato puree. Continue frying this for a few minutes.

Add this to the rest of the ingredients in the pot. Stir in water according to desired consistency (you may need to add more water during the cooking process.

Give it all a good stir. For the oven, casserole use the usual setting you use when making meat casseroles – e.g. 160-200C. Again let it cook for several hours until the meat is tender, just falls off the bone, but not disintegrating.

Notes

* Oil – It’s worth noting that Ghanaians use a lot of oil and salt in their cooking. You can still achieve a delicious dish by using less of the bad stuff!

** Goat – trade for lamb or beef if you can’t find goat
*** Chilli Pepper – should look like a sweet bell pepper but small & squashed. The squashed chilli peppers are HOT, they give a great flavour, though. If you can’t take the heat, do not cut open the chilly, let it cook whole and then take out before serving. If you can’t get that one, any other hot chilli will do.

Team Building Doesn’t Have To Be A Drag

The announcement comes through the internal messaging system – the date for the next team building activity.

Throughout the organisation, there are collective groans and eye rolls because the team knows it will be like Groundhog Day – the same old same old. The keynote speaker talking about team work and sharing a story while most struggle to stay awake and engaged.

Or it is a physical activity that gets the fit in the office excited but the ones who are not so athletic, cringe and hope they will be sick that day.

Or the trust fall activity. Yes, your colleague might catch you on the day but there is big difference between doing something because you are expected to and being accountable.

If you are going to do team building, make sure it is something that everyone can connect over, that brings people together in the spirit of creating something worthwhile and lifts the spirits.

African drumming can do all of this. There are many articles on the healing power of drumming for the individual. The same applies to teams.  Here’s why and how.

Attitude

You do not have to be Dave Grohl or John Bonham to nail drumming especially as a team building exercise. Drumming as a team is about movement and unifying emotion and thought.

Health

There is something about making music as a team that lifts the spirits – the joy on people’s face when they are in harmony with those around them. Studies have shown that drumming can be great for releasing anger and creating joy. It is all about stress relief – when we hold onto anger and other emotions that create disruption, it leads to illness and disease. Drumming alleviates this.

Connection

When you get African Beat into to a team building session, there is a team bonding over the drums. By creating a team orchestra, new dynamics are established. Drumming brings people together in creativity and spirit.

Different

Doing the same thing over and over is a recipe for disengagement. There is nothing to look forward to. Even if you do drumming a couple of times a year as a team, each session is different. Different sounds are created. Different beats are generated. Making music is the ultimate in being creative. It makes people smile and have fun.