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Dadamac Day 2015 was about stories – not made-up stories, not stories-with-spin, but authentic, straight-from-the-heart-stories of vision, selflessness and stubborn determination. Dadamac Day 2015 was also about learning how to tell those stories, because people who have stories to tell aren’t always the best people to tell those stories.  Dadamac Day 2015 addressed that issue. It brought together professional story tellers, people making change, and people interested in knowing more.

There will be a video to give a taster of the event, so I won’t describe it now. Far better if I add the video link when it’s ready.

Working with The Academy of Oratory

For now I simply want to share something of my appreciation of what I’ve been learning since Nikki Fishman and I came under the influence of The Academy of Oratory and its lead trainers Giles Abbott and Leon Conrad. They are professional story tellers, with a deep understanding of stories, story structures, and how these structures relate to us all, as we live out the stories of our lives.

Leon has been teaching me to see story patterns in life, and it is having a wondrous impact on how I see, hear and think about things in my own ongoing life story. Somehow knowing how stories normally unfold helps to make situations seem less chaotic, more familiar, and therefore more “navigable”.

“Try, try, try again”

It struck me yesterday when I was preparing for our Dadamac Day storytelling event, that this was an example of the “Try, try, try again” structure that, as Leon had pointed out to me, often comes up in stories.

Three tries are forever cropping up in stories, the three little pigs, goldilocks and the three bears, stories with three wishes or some other kind of “third time lucky”.

Over and again the first one is no good, the second one may (or may not) be better – and then the third one is exactly right. Often it’s not really luck that makes the third time lucky. It can be the knowledge and experience gained through reflecting on the the earlier “failures” (AKA “rich learning experiences” –  depending on your viewpoint).

Three steps towards telling the Dadamac changemakers’ stories


I see three tries in our approach to story telling. The first was when I started trying to interest people in what I was learning during my working holidays and “reality checks” in Nigeria. People like traveller’s tales – but few are interested in the deeper implications.


The second attempt at telling the stories was when Nikki Fishman came along. We started to share the work of John Dada and Fantsuam Foundation  online.  She began her weekly blogs, and “Dadamac Foundation” was born. That was much better, but still not good enough.

Try again….

Yesterday was the start of the third attempt, at our Dadamac Day storytelling event at Hub Westminster. Nikki and I brought along three additional Dadamac connected changemakers to join Leon Conrad and Giles Abbot. John and Dada and relaxed happily in the background, watching the first public collaboration between Dadamac Foundation and Acadamy of Oratory.

Our hope is that the work we did yesterday will attract others to join us, in order to learn how to be storytellers (and other kinds of “information agents”) on behalf of our changemakers.

We hope people will start to appreciate the importance of our work harvesting the stories of changemakers and combining their experiences online for the benefit of others. We hope that the event will lead to:

  • More volunteers to help Dadamac Foundation share the stories
  • Doners to help us cover the costs of collecting and presenting the stories and supporting the changemakers in various ways
  • More changemakers being helped

We’ve been learning about story structures, quests, tricksters,and all kinds of events and characters. We know this is only the start of;

  • Our adventures in story telling
  • Learning how life and stories relate to each other
  • Understanding how that relationship helps us to relate better to one another

I believe that Dadamac Day 2015 could be the “third time lucky” event that starts to bring the critical mass  of stories of change, that will ultimately alter the way that International Development is done.

Join the Adventures of …

To me yesterday’s storytelling event was the start of “The Adventures of Dadamac Foundation and the Changemakers.” It’s a story with room for as many additional characters as wish to make roles for themselves. You can join in the adventure and alter its outcome by giving your time and skills (use the Dadamac Foundation contact form), by donating here , by sharing this post with others, or simply by following the next episodes posted on the Dadamac Foundation website.

Welcome to the ongoing adventure.