Tribe Sankofa is a performing arts collective that was founded in 2012 by Fabian Thomas, with the aim of introducing a new dimension to the performing arts landscape in Jamaica and the rest of the world. Born out of Thomas’ yearning to be part of something greater than him, he set out to create a space where talent could be nurtured and flourish.
Tribe Sankofa describes their artistic space as “….borrowed and original spoken word/poetry, soulful song-styling uniquely blended with other visual and performing arts”. The group is unafraid to tackle hard-pressing issues which are more-often than not left off-stage. With an unquestionable range, Tribe Sankofa focuses on bringing to light issues that are affecting society, and which have deep meaning to them individually and collectively.
The Tribe, has become a healing and transformative space for individuals and acts as family where members can connect and feel safe. The trust that has been developed amongst the group can be seen on stage and this is one of the things that sets this group apart.
Since their introduction on the performing arts scene, Tribe Sankofa has shared their unique talents in diverse spaces including the Poetry Society of Jamaica, Bookophilia, Lignum Vitae Awards, Gungo Walk Alternative Music and Arts Festival, Arts in the Park and the 2017 Investiture of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica to name a few. Tribe Sankofa has also been awarded multiple awards from Tallawah Dramatic Arts Festival and the Jamaica Cultural Development’s Speech and Drama Competitions. In 2016 alone, the collective received 10 gold awards at the regional level of the JCDC Speech and Drama competitions, with seven of these pieces advancing to the Nationals. Their piece ‘I live in Jamaica’ won a National award and the group also won the award for Best Community Group for 2016.
Tribe Sankofa has staged its own productions: Black Bodies, A Tribe Ting and their signature annual production Word Soul. In 2017, Tribe Sankofa travelled to Barbados to participate in the biennial Carifesta event.