Archive for london

A Weekend to Remember: celebrating the resilience of our ancestors 25th of May 2013

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2013 by ziloka


Hello friends!

Zil’oka is very proud to invite you to our series of events that we are organising to commemorate the abolition of slavery. Come and celebrate with us, we can guaranty you that this will be a weekend to remember.

We will celebrate, sing, dance, drink, eat and tell you stories. Stories about our ancestors so you can understand and appreciate why/how we are here.
We will also have fun – Lots of fun actually. Please see the updated program we have put together for you below:

Saturday 25th of May
This will be the main event of the weekend! Not to be missed out! 10 mins walk from Brixton Station!
Some yummy appetisers & nibbles on sale: French Caribbean patties…and traditional hot chocolate & bread.

Address: Brixton Community Base
Brixton St Vincent’s Community Centre
Talma Road
London SW2 1AS
Closest Train Station: Brixton (Victoria Line) or Herne Hill.

2pm – 2.30pm: Creole dictation, ‘dikté kréyol’
2.30 – 3.30pm: Caribbean Quizz – How well do you know the Caribbean history, geography
3.30pm – 4pm: Break – Prize for winners
4.15pm – 5pm: Ziloka Story telling – The Story of the slave Romain
5.15pm – 6.15pm: Gwoka Dance Workshop – Liberation Dance with Sarah (£5 on the day)
You can book your place for the workshop online for £4
6.30pm – 7.15pm: Singing & Dancing with Zil’oKA
7.15pm – 7.30pm: Networking
7.30pm: End of the Event.

Sunday 26th of May
We will gather in Brockwell Park from 1pm for a lazy Sunday…but we will always have our drums, of course!
Please bring your own food as we will share with each other.
On that day, you will be able to buy traditional French caribbean Sorbet au coco (Coconut Ice Cream) and play belotte & Dominos!

In the Park! We will be close to the Brockwell Lido building!
Norwood Road
London SE24 0PA

Monday 27th of May
On the Monday Bank Holiday, we have planned to gather in Southbank from 2pm to play and dance!
We will then perform the Liberation Dance learnt on the 25th of May during the workshop.
Dress Code: All in white!

We would like to thank our partner London Macadam for supporting & promoting the event ‘the Weekend to Remember’!

See you all there!


Zil’oka is recruiting !!

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by ziloka

Zil’oKA is looking for musicians to play the boula drum, the chacha and other light percussions.

About the Boula drum:

Gwoka is much more than just a dance and every single element of the circle, music+voice+dance is essential. The Boula drum is responsible for keeping the rhythm. In Gwoka, we have 7 main rhythms which carry 7 different emotions. Without the rhythm, the singer cannot sing and the dancer cannot dance.

Role description:

You will be in charge of playing the boula with our team of musicians.

you may be required to play the chacha and other light percussions.

You will have the opportunity to take part to the various Zil’oka performances.

Herve Despois, Zil'OKa drummer in action on the South Banks


To keep the circle going in London, we need committed people.

-Interest in Gwoka and French Caribbean culture Essential.

-Availability on Sundays Essential.

– must be 18 or have a parental authorisation.

-No experience needed. We just want dedication and a willingness to learn.

-We welcome men and women! We also welcome people from any ethnic background, Zil’oka only cares about your willingness to learn and play!

Have a look at a  Boula drummer,  involved in the song…really really involved ( ok you do not have to be so passionate, but  this is just to give you an idea)



You will be part of the only French Caribbean band of the UK.

You will meet amazing people.

You’ll have the opportunity to travel.

Gwoka is a fantastic way to stay fit.

Your creativity is welcome.

We have a lot of fun.

You can bring your children in rehearsal (they can play too!)

We have great costumes!


This is not a paid position, Zil’oka is a non for profit organisation. if you are interested, send us an email on

Come, join the circle!


Zil’oka on a Zouk venture?

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , on February 10, 2013 by ziloka

Back in 2012, Zi’oka has had the privilege to have Sonia Dersion in one of our rehearsal sessions in Bethnal Green. Sonia Dersion is one of the most beautiful voice of Zouk and it was a pleasure to play and dance with her. If you want to know more about Sonia, check her website here


London Tropical Vibes: Our performance

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by ziloka

Last saturday we put a show together for the London Tropical Vibes event organised by Intercultural Alliance and its president Marc Laguerre.

Our story revolved around Gwoka and what it meant for the people of Guadeloupe. We tried to show the emotions, the social functions connected with the 7 rythmes of this music.
From Boulagel to Mende we expressed joy, sorrow, we showed how the community used those rythmes in their everyday lives. It lasted 25 minutes but for you, we managed to compress it to less than 5 mins in the video below.


Choreographies by Yamide Dagnet

Zil’oKA at theLondon Tropical Vibes Sat 2nd of Feburary 2013

Posted in Ziloka News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by ziloka


Zil’oka has been invited to perform at the very first London Tropical Vibe! This event, has the ambition to unite Africa and its Diasporas through music, dance, food in a joyful and colourful festival!

The afternoon will be dedicated to dance performances and workshops while the evening is a full blown dinner dance with tasty creole food and a live Salsa band!
Among all these African, and Latin talent, Zil’oka will be performing and conducting a workshop (yes yes yes).

We have worked really hard to put on a fresh ans zesty show, and if you are looking for a entertaining way to burn off the leftover fat from Christmas, our workshop is the solution!

Please buy your tickets online!
With Early birds £5 tickets you will get all the performances + a free workshop of your choice!

Here’s the link:

From 1pm
Conway Hall,
25 Red Lion Square
London, Greater London WC1R 4RL

Zil’oKA’s workshop at Alexandra Park School!

Posted in Workshop, Ziloka News with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by ziloka


Yesterday, We had the pleasure to conduct our first workshop of the year at the Alexandra Park School in Haringey. We were all very impressed by the school’s artistic vision for the young ones. The pupils are involved all year long in sports; theatre, movie projects and it was a real pleasure to work with such a bunch of receptive, dynamic and talented young people.

The Zil’oka team composed of: Kwawu, Celena, Christian, Ralph, Sarah, Karine, Jessy and Nathalie, made them dance, play drums and light percussions, sing, speak Creole and perform in front of their peers.
We are very proud of you guys! A special mention to Ms. Sian Dias-Williams and Tyler Hanna for making it possible. Long live to the Western African Dance Club of Alexandra Park School!

8th of December Chanté Nwèl Venue Update

Posted in French West Indian Culture, Ziloka News with tags , , , , on December 6, 2012 by ziloka

Chanté nwèl_new

Hello Beautiful celebrating people!

Fear not, BsB and Zil’Oka are still hosting a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Chanté Nwèl this Saturday 8th of December with traditional Caribbean Christmas delicacies*!
However we have had to unexpectedly change the venue (the joys of event organisation).

So please note that the Chanté Nwèl will take place at:
Island art Studio 290 Milkwood Road, London, Greater London SE24 0E.
Closest station Herne Hill or Brixton
Buses: 3, 196, 37, 68, 201, 322, 468

The programme is still spicy and juicy. Just note that we will now start at 5pm so you have ample time to get there!

5h00-6h15: Children Activities: storytelling, games and initiation to Gwoka percussions.
6: 15-6h30: Secret Santa gift presentation**
6h30-7h30: Gwoka dance workshop £5
7:30-8:30: Chanté Nwèl PART 1
8h30-9h00: Raffle (do get your tickets!!)
9h00 10h15: Chanté Nwèl PART 2
10h15-11h00: mini party

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this last minute change of venue. Do spread the word so we can all have fun together!

*Characteristic Caribbean Christmas treats will be available to purchase.
**Parents are advised to bring a small gift to be exchanged at the secret Santa gift presentation

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