Story Times and the Talking Drums


"Story Time and the Talking Drums is a family-oriented, interactive program which brings ancestral folk tales and the music of South Africa to your library or school.

The story-teller and musician, Baba Vusi Shibambo, is a multi-instrumentalist and international recording artist who learned to play drums as a child through his mother. A descendant of the Royal Shibambo family of the AmaZulu people, his family held an esteemed role in the village as the keepers of the skins and gaurdians of the tribal rhythyms. His passion is to revive and preserve the heritage of his African lineage and share it with others.

This multi-faceted show is a spell-binding journey into the heart of ancient Africa introducing the audience to authentic, indigenous instruments including drums, marimbas, kalimbas, and the birambou. The show is interspersed with traditional folk tales from Shibambo’s childhood passed down through the generations by the grandmothers to teach practical lessons to the youth. Long before modern communication tools such as television and the internet, families would use stories to inspire their children to adopt values that would provide them with the tools for a productive and happy life. Often, these stories portrayed villagers’ interactions with the animals in the bush and taught the children the importance of living in harmony with nature and their community. This magical quality of the stories reinforces the nostalgic idea that we are all children with bigger responsibilities.

At the conclusion of the show, Shibambo welcomes audience participation to experience first-hand the joy of playing of traditional African instruments in easy-to-learn rhythmic patterns.

About the performer: During apartheid South Africa, Shibambo’s music became a vehicle for cultural awareness. His band, AZUMAH, performed for Nelson Mandela’s historic prison release and subsequently toured with the stage production Ipitombi bringing his rich South African heritage to a worldwide audience for over 10 years. Shibambo came to the United States in 1993 as a cultural ambassador and subsequently penned, choreographed and directed his own stage productions commissioned by the South African Arts Council, the Arizona Commission for the Arts, and the Arts Endowment. He has taught drumming and the Zulu culture in the schools throughout Arizona and California for over two decades."

Additional Information

Contact Person

Baba Vusi Shibambo

Email Address

Work Phone Number



31 Woodland Circle



Program Type

Story Times and the Talking Drums, is a spirited fusion of traditional South African storytelling and original music played on authentic, indigenous African instruments. The stories send the listener on a magical journey into the heart of the African bus

Single Performance Fee

Contact performer

Residency Fee

Contact performer

Recommended Ages

All ages

Maximum Group Size


Willing to work with libraries?


Willing to work with schools?


Library References

Library/School: Verde Valley Montessori
Contact Person: Maryanne Greene
Contact Work Phone: 928-634-3288

Arizona Commission on the Arts Roster Artist?


Fingerprint Clearance ID Available?


Special Notes

Level One Fingerprint Clearance current; expires November 2025. Business based out of Sedona, AZ; available for travel throughout Arizona. 

Post navigation