Obakunle Akinlana

Obakunle AkinlanaAbout the Artist:
Obakunle Akinlana is a storyteller who uses drums, shekeres, and other African musical instruments to present fun and exciting African folktales. Since 1985, he has performed as a storyteller, lecturer and percussionist throughout the U.S. and West Africa. He travels annually to Africa to learn traditional stories, and to observe and perform with African griots and musicians. His programs focus on the arts and folklore of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria, a culture he has studied for over three decades. Akinlana performs at festivals, colleges, universities, community centers, libraries, schools and other events.

Current Projects:

  • Storyteller Obakunle Akinlana presents African Folktales is an up to 60-minute performance of African and African American folktales, music, and dance. Obakunle plays drums, shekeres, and other musical instruments to bring exciting African folktales to life.
  • Alo Irintan Yoruba is a 60-minute presentation that features music, folklore, and artifacts from the Yoruba people. Artifacts include bead art, woodcarvings, basketry, calabashes, textiles, and musical instruments. Available for residencies and workshops. Offerings of shekere making, jewelry making, batik, storytelling and African percussion.

Contact Info:
Tour Contact: Obakunle Akinlana
P.O. Box 464
Newell, NC  28126

Fee Structure: *
Obakunle Presents African Folktales:

  • Single Performance: $400
  • Multiple Performances: $700 (2 Back to Back Performances) One-day


  • $1000-$1200 (3 Performances Different Locations)
Multiple-Day Residency: $850-$1000/day*
  • One-Week Residency: $3800-$5000*

*Prices for other structures up to negotiation with presenter.

Artistic Discipline:

  • theater
  • dance
  • folkloric/traditional cultural
  • storytelling
  • other
  • music
  • spoken word
  • poetry
  • literary arts
  • visual arts
  • film/video
  • new media
  • multidisciplinary
  • producer/presenter

Special programs available for:

  • Colleges and universities
  • K-12
  • Senior Centers
  • Immigrant populations
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Audiences with Disabilities

Through the beauty of African stories, music, culture and dance Obakunle Akinlana inspires communities to come together in One Heart, One Love, One Peace, One World.

Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.