JC Niala is a Storyteller who writes. She performs stories that otherwise hide away in books and draws on inspiration from people's stories to create plays, films, poems & books.



What is inspiring me


I am currently working on a longer version of my show 'Dance of Defiance'. It tells the story of Mekatilili wa Menza, a Giriama woman who successfully led her people in a rebellion against the British Colonial Forces in the early 1900s. Her courage and ability to stand up against injustice are astounding.

Stories for our times

Myth and history are not always fashionable, but often they contain gems that speak to contemporary issues. In Gīkūyū culture there is the story of Wacici, the boy who walked seven times around the sacred Mūgumo (strangler fig) tree and became a girl. A girl did the same and became a boy. It was said that anyone who does so can change their gender.

On Creative Process

As impossible as it is, daily practice is the key.


“Excellent performance!”
"It just brings to the human aspect to the forefront which is amazing."

Works on/at:

Tate Modern
BBC2                                 The Africa Centre, London
BBC Radio 4
University of Oxford