Capoeira Workshop at Starehe Girls Centre!

On Oct 6th, Elimu Sanifu hosted a capoeira workshop at Starehe Girls Centre facilitated by Felix of Balanço Negro.SAMSUNGSAMSUNGSAMSUNGSAMSUNGSAMSUNG

Unshackling Education at Daniel’s Spectrum!


We are thrilled to share our play Unshackling Education with you once again this July.  Please join us for this participatory play and discussion!

Unshackling Education: Questions. Reflections. Suggestions – chronicles the life of a young Kenyan boy grappling between life in Nairobi, Kenya’s informal settlements and the disconnection he faces with what and how he is learning in school.

Starring Daniel Ellis and Wangui Kimari. Co-written and directed by Rehana Tejpar

July 3rd, 4th and 5th, 7pm

Daniel’s Spectrum 585 Dundas St E, Ada Slaight Hall A

Tickets $10 available at the door or in advance

Group discounts available: contact

Special thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for their support in this project

Unshackling Education Video

For a 5 minute trailor of the play Unshackling Education, co-created by Elimu Sanifu, click here

Building an Alternative Education Movement

Xtra! Article about the Lost Lyrics Roots of the Rose Conference, featuring Unshackling Education

Unshackling Education at Lost Lyrics 5-Year Anniversary Conference: THE ROOTS OF THE ROSE

Unshackling Education – The Play: Questions, Reflections, Suggestions is back on the stage Saturday June 2nd at the Lost Lyrics 5-Year Anniversary Conference: The Roots of the Rose! Starring Daniel Ellis, Wangui Kimari, co-written and directed by Rehana Tejpar, this play challenges the agenda to school the world at the expense of indigenous knowledges, histories, languages and learner’s ability to learn about themselves and their environment, through the eyes of a young Kenyan boy.  Unshackling Education, is an invitation to discuss how we can make learning more relevant to students’ lived experiences and co-create alternative learning spaces which nurture creativity and community.

The theme of the conference is Building an Alternative Education Movement, and it will explore a diversity of approaches to decolonizing learning from the ground up. Unshackling Education will be on stage from 1-2pm at the Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St.  Come out!

You can check out more about the conference here:

With love,


Unshackling Education: The Play

On December 8th, 2011 in Toronto, Canada, Elimu Sanifu presented a participatory play and discussion, Unshackling Education: Questions, Reflections, Suggestions. The story chronicles the life of a young Kenyan boy grappling between life in Nairobi’s informal settlements and the disconnection he faces with what and how he is learning in school.

Starring Daniel Ellis and Wangui Kimari, and co-written and directed by Rehana Tejpar, this play is intended to ask questions and provoke thought and discussion around the relevance and value of formal schooling.  It fleshes out some of the complexities of the schooling/unschooling debate which encompass the pressures to be educated through formal schooling in order to be legitimized in a society with the diploma disease; the assumptions that doing well in school will guarantee you a job and a good income, that schooling is literacy and literacy is knowledge; how the school convinces students that they are failures, that they must abandon their passions in favour of studies and high marks; the dismissal of African indigenous/ancestral knowledges and his/herstories from an African perspective in the curriculum and how this impacts the student’s sense of self as an African; the under-representation of hands-on practical skill learning which can be directly applied to living healthier lives now; and the reality that schooling does open doors of opportunity especially when one is free to self-direct their learning, and how violent the imposition of a particular form of foreign (western) learning model can be on the soul of a child which craves to be itself.

We witness as the consciousness of Mwangi Otieno, the lead character, awakens to the unjust realities around him – the grippling poverty he is forced to live in the informal settlements, the unfairness of what and how he is taught in school while at the same time dependent on being legitimized within that very system and knowing few other altnernatives between the streets and the school.  A journey to his rural upcountry to visit his grandmother catalyzes this awakening.

We were grateful to the Toronto community for a great turnout to the opening of the play.  They danced, sang, laughed and cried with us and shared their personal experiences of schooling and co-creating alternative learning environments in the discussion which followed.

We are planning to perform Unshackling Education again this spring and summer in Toronto, and the video of the performance will soon be available online.


Upcoming: Documentary Screening and Discussion of The Africans: A Triple Heritage at Starehe Boys

Documentary screening of The Africans: A Triple Heritage, by Ali Mazrui, followed by a discussion facilitated by human rights activist and community organizer Gacheke Gachihi.

Date TBA

Poster: The Africans: A Triple Heritage

Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.