Spreading Joy & Authentic African Culture with a Coffieman Twist

Evans Coffie, known as Coffieman, was touring across Canada with the National Dance Ensemble of Ghana when he fell in love with the Canadian summer. After the tour, he was asked by his community to return to Manitoba and settle in Winnipeg, an opportunity he agreed to with the summer nostalgia in mind.

When he arrived at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, he was greeted by a brutal winter storm and thought to himself ‘what is this?’ His community members welcomed him at the airport and bundled him up in a coat; despite the harsh weather, he was resolved to stay and was ready to face this new and exciting challenge.

With a determination to continue the great Ghanaian tradition of sharing culture and teaching the younger generation, Evans Coffie started sharing his love of African Drumming and Dance with everyone around, performing at festivals and many community events. He spread joy and authentic African culture with his Coffieman twist style by offering drumming and dance lessons to members of his community and to the entire Winnipeg community.

“Sharing my talent is a need I have inside of me. In my culture, songs, dances, rhythms and more are kept alive by the sharing of these with everyone”, states Evans. “Music feeds my soul and I would not be able to survive without it or without sharing it. I am always singing, working on a rhythm, or trying out new dance moves. It is my privilege to be able to share what I love with so many people.”

Becoming a member of Folklorama felt like the perfect fit for Evans.

“Folklorama is such an asset to me, as they hold the same values of sharing the abundance of culture we have here in Winnipeg and throughout Canada. I am blessed to have found an organization that helps me pursue my passion of sharing authentic African culture with as many people as I can.”

Evans has been performing at the Africa Pavilion in August for many years and cherishes the performances he gets to put on all year through the Folklorama teachings program. Connecting with the audience and allowing them live his culture, if even for a short time, warms his spirit.

“With every performance I give, I have memories to cherish” expresses Evans. “I love seeing the faces of children when they participate with me in the Jungle song with all the animal calls, or when I ask the men to join me on stage for a dance.”

Throughout the pandemic, Evans Coffie has had fewer opportunities to share his culture with the masses, but has been entertaining audiences every once in a while through Zoom and a couple socially distanced community events. Evans continues to play music every day and has been busy working on a new album, which features songs that he has written.

“I am staying home and staying safe, and playing my music every day, it is my lifeline. I find that it calms and relaxes me. Although we have had more time on our hands, we can’t forget to keep alive the things that are most important to us, and for me, that is my culture through music and dance.”

Join Evans Coffie “Coffieman” on a new adventure with Folklorama at Home: The Virtual Experience on February 5th at 7:00pm!

If you would like to join Folklorama family as a member, contact Wynne Au at wau@folklorama.ca