JC Niala wears many hats. She is a storyteller. An award-winning screen and stage writer. A cultural producer and an activist.Having travelled to over 40 countries, and lived and worked on three continents, JC has gathered stories and engaged with audiences from all around the world. With her work being described as ‘excellent’, ‘very creative’ and ‘important’, JC’s work has been featured on BBC2, BBC Radio 4, CBS in the US, ABC in Australia among other media outlets. Her live performances are rich and varied, be they as part of a London Parks and Garden’s Trust poetry residency, at the Tate Modern or The Hay Festival.
JC believes that the arts can be entertaining and also a vehicle by which people can enter into a conversation on important issues. To that end she used the proceeds from her sell-out Nairobi performance of her play The Strong Room to help re-house 19 families who lost their homes in a fire that cut through Kibera. Her film Wazi?FM which features lesser-heard stories about urban refugees won several awards including an EU award for promoting peace and cultural understanding. JC is currently V-LED writer-in-residence using Verbatim Theatre to stimulate Local Climate Action.
JC is regularly invited to speak at international events all over the world about her research on lesser-told African History. She won an award for her video podcast on African Soldiers in WW1 which is featured on the University of Oxford’s iTunes channel. She was a researcher and producer for the Women in Oxford’s History podcast series from 2016-2018
JC was a 2018 Tell Yours Storyteller a process through which she developed Dance of Defiance which tells the story of Mekatilili wa Menza a Giriama woman who lead her people in a successful rebellion against British Colonial Forces in East Africa in the early 1900s.