Posted in Ziloka News on January 28, 2017 by ziloka



In VO with English Subtitles.

At the ODEON Cinema Greenwich

Following by a Discussion Debate and After Party at the ODEON Gallery

Resume Movie

In the 70s, the BUMIDOM agency was responsible for supporting the emigration of the inhabitants of the departments overseas to mainland France. Jimmy Larivière is struggling to make ends meet. He has to support his daughter and find his place in society. He gets involved with the Gang des Antillais (Gang of the French Caribbean), a group of idealist crooks, and members of an exasperated community that has arrived in mainland France with the Bumidon (the Bureau for the Development of Migration in the Overseas Departments)……


Q&A with the filmmakers Sebastien Onomo & Jean Claude Barny

After Party animated by Dj SHAKIT.


Doors: 10.00pm

Film: 10.15pm (Sharp!)

GALLERY: 12.00am



Standard Seat: £15

Premier Seat: £18


Standard Seat: £20

Premier Seat: £23


Gallery Seats + After Party + Food : £30



Posted in Ziloka News on December 9, 2016 by ziloka

D-day minus one before our big Chanté Nwel event,

we are looking forward to see you all tomorrow!

Check out our exciting program of activities for you, friends and family:




We will also have some great exhibitors and craft products that will make perfect Christmas gifts.

Here is a preview of our special partners and the links to their Facebook pages:

Special Touch Designs




Kelis Africa



Jamin Sauces



Coco Davillé Jewellery designer



Caribbean Creole Creations


Don’t forget that you can book your ticket in advance online:

Chanté Nwel – Join us for a day of merriment

Posted in Ziloka News on November 15, 2016 by ziloka

“Dans le calme de la nuit et de la nuit,

s’est entendu un grand bruit…BLOOOO!!!”

If you know these lyrics you surely don’t want to miss the next Ziloka event.

This year our traditional Christmas celebration will be held on Saturday 10 December 2016, at the Jubilee Hall Community Centre in Tulse Hill Estate.

We invite you to discover or to re-discover the very special spirit of Christmas in the French Caribbean islands. A time punctuated by creole Christmas carols (chanté nwèl), gathering of family and friends and laugher. To make this day even more special we will have several free and fun activities for the kids starting at 3pm and a Zouk party hosted by the one and only DJ Shakit.

Add to that some French Caribbean food and drinks, dance, drum and songs, and you’ll have in short all the ingredients that will make you feel right at home!


JOUNÉ Kréyòl

Posted in Creole Language, French West Indian Culture, Workshop, Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , on September 16, 2016 by ziloka


Hi All,

The Black History month is already next month and as always Zil’OKA wants to bring an event for you, your family and friends to make this day a memorable day.

Zil’OKA would like to invite on :

——-1PM TO 11PM——-
Tulse Hill Estate

A day of creole culture with diverse activities:

– Dance gwoka workshop
– Children activities: introduction to creole with storytelling
– Traditional games
– Creole dictation
– Caribbean quizz
– Domino game
– Artist performances
– Retro zouk party

>>>>>>>>>>>>>> GUEST ARTISTS <<<<<<<<<<<<<

– Ines Khai (Creole Soul)
– S.Rise (Reggae/Hip hop)
– Ka Fraternite (Gwoka music)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EXHIBITORS <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Come along for an amazing day of celebration around Creole culture! This is a family friendly event.

£5 : Entry
£12 : Entry+Meal+Drinks
£12 : Entry+Workshop (advanced booking required)
Children under 12 go Free

The event is ready to share on facebook (do not forget to click your intention)


Interview of Hervé Despois, President of Zil’oKA

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , on April 4, 2014 by ziloka

kalabash rv

Hi Hervé, how are you doing?
I am very well thanks! Very busy at the moment, lots of stuff happening right now…

What is happening?
Well we are getting ready for the 12th of April Easter event with the Zil’oKA team, putting everything together so we can enjoy a nice afternoon. That’s what we are getting with at the moment.

Tell us a bit more about the event?
We wanted to organize a get together, just have that time where the community is meeting again, socializing around some nice food, drinks etc. Obviously Zil’oKA have always been involved in traditional dancing and drumming so we wanted to make sure we had that on the list as well! We will have our traditional Gwoka dance workshop for adult, but we are also planning to get the kids busy with percussion and drumming workshop! So parents, don’t hesitate to get down with your children.

“London is a great place if you want to get opportunities, meet lots of different cultures, people…”

How much is it to get in?
It’s free! We always try to make our event free…people shouldn’t pay to spend quality time with their community. The workshops will come at a fee, £6 for adults and £2.50 for kids. We will also have food available, provided by ‘Guadeloupe’ restaurant, domino, card games…

Dublin RV

Great. Tell us a bit more about you? Your life in London...
Born in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. I arrived in London 6 years ago…already…after some unhappy times in France. London is a great place if you want to get opportunities, meet lots of different cultures, people. I really really like it. Sometimes you can feel a bit overwhelmed, it’s a pretty big city but overall it’s pretty good.

Do you prefer London or Paris?
London haha!

People are nice in London haha!

“I just stepped in to be the next President after Yamide, don’t ask me why…”

Now tell us about Gwoka and Zil’oKA? How did you get in?
When I arrived in London back in 2008, the first thing I did was to look for people playing Gwoka. I met with Yamide, Novitse, Rita and some other people right when Zil’oKA was being created. I never left the group.

rv map

How did you become President? Is it a lot to do?
When Yamide, who had been president since the group was created left London in 2012, it was a massive shock for us all. She was a bit like our mum haha! But we had the choice: shut Zil’oKA down and go back to our own lives or keep it alive…I just stepped in to be the next President after Yamide, don’t ask me why. It can be challenging sometimes, you have to put extra hours in but overall it’s a real blessing!

So what do you do? You can boula? Sing? Dance?
I mainly play Boula alongside Takadoum, who is our lead drummer. I am slowly starting to get into ‘marquage’ but I still have a long way to go, especially with danseuse like Sarah, who is always trying to trick you!
I know the basic dance steps, but I am not a great dancer! And I sing…under the shower haha!

“Zil’oKA have been part of my life for 6 years and I met incredible people, made some friends for life! The kind of friends that are always there for you when you need them the most!”

What is your favorite rhythm in Gwoka?
I like Lewoz…it is so spiritual, so deep…I can definitely be moved to tears by a Lewoz song! I also like a good old Graj…it’s beautiful to hear and to watch.

On another note, we heard that you are leaving the country soon?
Yes I am…going to Martinique to be with my family…

Are you going to miss Zil’oKA?
Big time! Zil’oKA have been part of my life for 6 years and I met incredible people, made some friends for life! The kind of friends that are always there for you when you need them the most! So yes, it’s going to be emotional…
The 12th of April event will be kind of my leaving party! From 5.45pm we will have a ‘kout tanbou’ so I can sing, dance, drum and say goodbye to everybody in a stylish way!
Come down, it will be good fun!

Easter Afternoon with Zil’oKA 12th April 2014

Posted in Workshop, Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2014 by ziloka

Screen shot 2014-04-03 at 15.03.44

Hi all,

We have been a bit quiet for a while. Fear not, we have the below for you!

Zil’oKA are happy to invite you to a cultural and festive afternoon on the Saturday 12th of April from 3pm – 7.30pm at the Island Art Studio in Herne Hill.
278 Milkwood Road
SE24 0EZ

We have put a nice program together so you can all get down and enjoy it:

3 – 3.20pm: Welcome and welcome speech
3.30 – 4.30pm: Adult Gwoka Dance Workshop with Sarah (£6)
4.45 – 5.30pm: Kids drumming and percussion workshops (£2.5)
5.45 – 7.30pm: Kout Tanbou. Live drumming, singing and dancing animated by Zil’oKA. You are all welcome and encouraged to sing, dance, clap hands with us!

Tickets for workshops can be purchased online by clicking on the link below:
Limited space!

We will also have for you:
*1 belote and 1 domino tables open for the fierce ones!
* Hot food provided by newly open ‘Guadeloupe’ restaurant
* Finger food
* Homemade cakes
* Rum planteur

This afternoon will also be Zil’oKA’s current President Hervé Despois’ leaving due as he is moving out of the UK. Let’s make it an afternoon to remember!

Come down to meet the community, socialize, sing, dance and enjoy.
The event is free to attend!

Interview of Sarah Brucy, Zil’oKA’s Arstistic Director and Gwoka Workshop Manager

Posted in Workshop, Ziloka News with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by ziloka

sarah workshop

Ahead of the 5 weeks Gwoka workshops starting on Thursday 13th of February, Zil’oKA wanted you to meet Sarah, our Artistic Director.

Bonjour Sarah! How are you today?
Bonjour! I’m fine, always busy as usual but I’m loving it!

Before discussing about Gwoka, how long have you been living in London for, and what do you think about the city?
I’ve been in this country for 4 years! London is a great place to study, to have fun and to meet new people. It’s an unforgettable experience!

Why did you join Zil’oKA when you arrived?
When I arrived in London I really wanted to find some French Caribbean activities, something that would get me close to my roots. Luckily I found Ziloka and the French traditional dancing. Couldn’t find better!

“I never knew anything about it until the day my mum decided to bring me to a Gwoka dance class with Mario Coco”

How long have you been involved in Gwoka for?
I’ve been involved in Gwoka for more then 11 years now. I never knew anything about it until the day my mum decided to bring me to a Gwoka dance class with Mario Coco, a very famous dancer and Director of the well-known Sakitaw dance troup in Guadeloupe. Since that day, I can’t live without Gwoka.

Sassou Dublin

Now tell us a bit about the workshop? what will we learn if we attend?
The workshop will be 5 weeks session based on dance and Gwoka music. The whole session will be conducted like typical classes, where I will teach the basics and different Gwoka steps. I you join you will be able to know what Gwoka is and the 7 rhythms background and where it is coming from.
We will focus on 2 rhythms though as 5 weeks is quite short; will practice them so we know how and when to dance these.
We will also spend some time on technique and mouvement.

“Classes are an introduction to Gwoka so we will take time to get things right, but you will be challenged in a fun atmosphere!”

Is it open to complete beginners?
Yes! The workshops are open to everybody! We really want to reach as many people as possible. So If you like dancing but you never heard of Gwoka before, this is a chance for you to discover something new. If you never danced at all before but you love drums and live music, don’t be afraid! We will make sure you feel at ease. Classes are an introduction to Gwoka so we will take time to get things right, but you will be challenged in a fun atmosphere!


We often see you in the Léwoz circle, perform beautiful solo dancing, what does it take to achieve this?
Wow! Tricky one.. Humm… Even though I have been dancing for such a long time, I am still a bit scared of getting into the Léwòz circle. We definitely need years of practice, and experience like in everything. But it is all about self confidence, love and passion. The circle itself has a massive impact on people with all the musicians, singers and répondè, you can feel the music taking possession of your body, and without noticing you find yourself in the middle or the circle… Once you know how to do the steps and you know the rules, the codes, then the Léwòz circle is accessible.

Thank you very much Sarah for your time! Anything you want to add?
Thank you Zil’oKA for this interview I hope that my words and testimony will give you the desire to approach the concept of Gwoka music and dance.

You can book your tickets in advance by clicking here!

Any questions or queries can be addressed to

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