The Poetic Storyteller

Why book The Poetic Storyteller?

Award Winning Storyteller, Featured Artist, Educational
Entertainer. Sharing the traditional art form of storytelling
with interactive rhythms and drum.
Spoken Word/Poetry.
Key Note Speaker.
Workshop Facilitator.
Parent Involvement Program Specialist.
Early Childhood Education.
After School Programs
Special Event Assemblies.
Children Birthday Parties.
Kids Parties; Graduation Party,
Folktales. Original Stories.
Motivational Speaking; Church Events.
Senior Programming. Main Stage Filler.
Baby Naming Ceremony; Wedding; Holiday, Poet.
Juneteenth. Kwanzaa. Black History Month. MLK Day
Multi session workshop available at our base location
Speech Forensics Specialist 7-12th grade.





Oba William King Gets Seniors Connected

Oba William King was outstanding as the feature artist at the Black History month celebration program at the Aurora Township Senior Center. The event was a collaboration between Senior Services Associates, Inc., Aurora Township, and the City of Aurora Youth & Senior Services. Mr. King's message was that although it was a Black History month celebration, all of those in attendance were connected on a human level with more similarities than differences and that people can get along and work/interact together in a comfortable manner. Oba William used a variety of skills to keep the senior audience captivated, including spoken word, story telling, singing, and playing of the congas. At the completion of the presentation, Mr. King received a rousing round of applause and was greeted afterwards by various people in attendance thanking him and seeking more information about the work that he does.

Priced Fairly
Reviewer: Ken M.
Organization: City of Aurora Youth & Senior Services
Event: Ethnic Celebration in Aurora, IL
Event Date: Feb 21, 2014
Hired As: Spoken Word Artist

Review by Valerie F.

Discovered Obas videos and audios today. I want to get my mom a copy of the ILMP audio or ringtones for her cellphone for her 80th birthday in August. My 94 year old aunt would want it to for her physical therapy sessions. I like the eagle story also but I can't workout to it.

Reviewer: Valerie F.
Event: Private Party in Brooklyn, NY
Event Date: Jan 3, 2011

Response from The Poetic Storyteller:

Thank You! The I Love My People CD is available for purchase feel free to send a note direct to Name Address City State Zip.... Also Signifying Monkey N Blue is available as Cd #2 both can be sent via us post. I appreciate the compliment.

Review by Brian ". E.

Oba anbd friends were the keynote speaker at the Clean Water Celebration in Peoria. Weaving together poetry, dance, storytelling and music he captivated a very large Civic Center Theater filled with nearly 3000 middle school kids. There was heart and passion, science and history! I have also seen him perform for his peers, other storytellers, and for pre-schoolers and he is always a highlight of any event he is a part of! I would highly recommend him for any audience.

Priced Fairly
Reviewer: Brian ". E.
Organization: Clean Water Celebration
Event: Convention in Peoria, IL
Event Date: Apr 21, 2008
Hired As: African Entertainment, Drum / Percussion Show, Narrator, Storyteller, World Music

Review by Lolita M. C.

The Poetic Storyteller performed at both of my sons' schools. He captivated the crowd. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed his stories, songs and drumming. We especially loved his interactive pieces and his signature song, "I Love My People." Oba King is an incredibly talented storyteller and a very nice person.

I've also seen him perform for adult audiences and they are just as enthralled by him. My advice? Book him for your next event.

Priced Fairly
Reviewer: Lolita M. C.
Event: Private Party in Chicago, IL
Event Date: May 24, 2010
Hired As: Children's Party Entertainment, Drum / Percussion Show

Review by Beverly F.

Oba William King was a hit at the Robert Clow Elementary School 8th Annual Storytelling Festival. The students enjoyed every minute of his performances from our kindergartners to 5th graders and our staff too! The stories he told and the poetry he recited were entertaining and educational.

Priced Fairly
Reviewer: Beverly F.
Organization: Robert Clow Elementary School
Event: Festival in Naperville, IL
Event Date: May 21, 2010

Review by Mitchell S.

Mr. King is a true professional! The energy and excitement he brought to his presentation captured the audience from beginning to end. You can tell he loves what he does and he gets everyone he performs for to love it too. Mr. King kicked off our summer reading program with African percussions and story telling that incorporated themes of Father's day, juneteenth and our systemwide theme of reading is artragous! Children, parents and staff were drawn by his interactive performance. We can't wait to have him back. I highly recommend the poetic storyteller Oba William King!

Priced Fairly
Reviewer: Mitchell S.
Organization: Whitney Young Branch of the Chicago Public Library
Event: Private Party in Chicago, IL
Event Date: Jun 21, 2010
Hired As: African Entertainment, Children's Party Entertainment, Drum / Percussion Show

Booking Info

  • Typical Gig: 30 - 90 minutes
  • Fee: $400.00 and Up
  • Insurance: 100,000.00 - Full Coverage ( must be updated per performance site ) Fractured Atlas Artist/Performer
  • Languages: English
  • Unions: SAG


Joy, Enlightenment, Cultural Awareness, Communication Skills, Encouragement, Community Togetherness, Parent Involvement, Stimulated Imagination. Rhythm, Diversity, Hope, KAOS :) - Educational Entertainment, Traditional Folk Art, Unity, Motor skills development for young audiences, and Opportunity to share memories for Seniors. The sound of African Drums, The Oratory Skills of a Talented Performer, Stories that make you laugh, cry, chuckle, wonder, and imagine. Every Season has a package: Halloween Stories, Winter - HOLIDAY Stories, African American Stories of Courage, Hope, Understanding During All Year long - But Especially African American Heritage Month, Spring Time is Time for rejuvenation, all the Stories during this season are crafted to celebrate the season. Summer time Starts with Graduation and Juneteenth and Wedding celebrations and Summer Reading Programs and - Outdoor Fun, and Family Reunions. Many of the recorded stories are collected and available on CD - The most poplar I Love My People, is a fabulous testament striving for the Unity of America. Classics like: Creation, The Bridge, Eagles Who Thought They Were Chickens and An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Oba's Storytelling Presentation are like a theatrical Experience: Programs for Early Childhood, and Special Pre-School to Kindergarten, to Elementary to Primary grades to Middle School to High School, to College Prep and University and Parents Programs as well as Family Reading Night and Grand Parents Day.

Additional Booking Notes

Sound Equipment needed Mic- Monitor, Boom Stand, MP3 - Cd player, Djembe Drum with table and cloth. Material can be adapted to fit the venue and theme. Some events request 20 min, fee negotiations to make the event cost effective.

Upcoming Booked Events

04/19/14 Spoken Word Cafe - Woodstock, IL

Past Booked Events

04/04/14 Urbana,Il Poetry Festival
03/26/14 Mustard Seed - Mt. Greenwood
03/25/14 A Childs World - 83rd and Jeffery Chicago
03/18/14 Deikman Elementary School - South Holland
03/17/14 A Childs Place - Chicago
03/14/14 Springfield, Il Poetry Out loud
01/16/13 Chicago Childcare Society
01/11/13 Catherine Cook Elementary School
12/28/12 Chicago State University
12/26/12 Bronzville Childrens Museum
12/04/12 NEIU Chicago, IL
11/15/12 Baltimore, Md
10/26/12 Columbus, Oh - Funnybone
10/15/12 Anderson, South Carolina
09/27/12 Minneapolis, Mn
09/20/12 Beaverton, Pa - (Pittsburg) Beaver Tales
09/03/12 African Festival of Arts - Chicago, iL
08/31/12 Sterling Public Library, Il
08/22/12 Garfield Park Conservatory
08/11/12 Chicago Lawn Branch Library
05/19/12 Storytelling in the Park - Hyde Park - Open Mic
04/28/12 Northlands Conference Storytelling Voice workshop
04/22/12 Clean Water Celebration- Peoria
04/18/12 Open Mic/Open Easel - stories, poetry/sketch art
04/17/12 Kids Night Storytelling Jacksonville
04/16/12 Jacsonville
04/13/12 Lyon School - assembly
04/10/12 This Much Is True
04/05/12 Developmental Center
02/29/12 Songhai Learning Center Familes and Children together Literacy

The Poetic Storyteller

Oba is an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award Recipient in Traditional
Folk Arts, A Jewel/Osco Hidden Jewel of The Neighborhood; A Gwendolyn
Brooks Hands on Stanza’s award recipient as well as other distinguished
awards. He is a featured artist through Center Stage for WTTW television in
Chicago; the Bermuda State Library; PBS radio station WBEZ FM
program “So Many Ways To Tell A Story;” The Bronzeville Children’s
Museum, CPS Early Childhood Education, and
The Sun Foundation's Arts and Science in the Woods.
Oba’s history of presenting programs for teen, adult and seasoned
adult audiences dates back to 1994 “Breaking Chains” a one-man
show at Beatrice Community College in Nebraska.
In 1998 Oba received an award nomination for the lead role in
Dracula at Lifeline Theatre, in Chicago. His trend-setting
presentation of Sound of a Voice, by David Henry Hwang was
presented at The Halsted Theatre in Pilsen, 2001.
In 2008 Oba won the Black Theatre Alliance award-for best lead male
actor for his portrayal of Louie in Louie and Ophelia at ETA Theatre
also in Chicago, Illinois. During 2010 Oba's programs are featured as Headliner for Fox Valley Storytelling Festival, The Celtic Knot, Evanston Illinois, Stage Left/Spoken Word Cafe Woodstock, Illinois, Signifying and Testifying Storytelling Concert Minneapolis, Minnesota, St Louis Public Library Dream Weavers program, National Association of Black Storytellers, 37 and 38 Annual Concert and Festival. During 2011 Oba was re-invited to many of the past year's locations and added a few more very exciting gigs, including:
North Carolina Imagine On Library and Theatre Center, Charlotte North Carolina, International Book Fair Miami Fl, Phinchic productions Holiday presentation Calgary, Canada. District 502 Speed Education Center, and many others.
2012 is off to a wonderful start... Oba will present his workshop "The Healing Voice" Northlands Storytelling Conference in Lake Geneva WI April 24-28. Featured presenter@ Greenville South Carolina at the annual Chautauqua in June, until then Oba's interactive student storyteller workshop: See What I'm Saying, is currently in residency at South Shore International College Prep. Coming September 2012 Oba will return to Minnesota for Signifyin and Testifyin also a first time participant in Beaver Tales, annual festival and storytelling concert in Pittsburg, Pa. We are looking forward to our return to Sterling, Il for the Sterling Library Annual Festival, Sterling/Rock Falls, IL... Labor day Weekend.

The team providing the talent:

Mama Vivian Nunn

Drummer, Vocalist

Carolyn Major


Mark Vaughn


Paul Rayon


Kim Rayon

Resident Artist

Oba William King

the Poetic Storyteller - lead artist

Iyiola Adebajo


A'Daris McNeese

Teaching Artist

Set List

This List Changes per venue Selections can be intermixed to fit the theme, New material being created constantly please ask if you don't see the story style that fits your needs. :

Mr. Wiggle Mr Waggle... (Jim May)
Finger Play Story, with participatory sound effects Call and Response with wonderful energy of finding and keeping friends.
American Classic presented in sing a-long style with the rhythm of the drum
The great spider is saved by his children using their Special gifts
African Folk Tale of how a smart little girl out sits the greedy Spider
A Rhyming tale about finding joy in who you are!
MY AMERICA (Jan Spivey Gilchrist)
A picture book story, about US. American’s All!
Fantastic imagery about the beauty with in us
JAMBO Means Hello (Ella Jenkins)
DJEMBE DRUM, Learning game sing-a-long
TRANSLATING NUMBERS1-10 in the popular African Language
OBALINA WILLAMINA The Worlds Most Beautiful Ballerina
An original Story--- includes a fantastical tale about a girl with secret agent powers…
From Ring Around The Roses, Hokey Pokey, Rain, Rain and Ms Mary Mac
a wonderful nursery rhyme tale. Our little hero travels all the way to a place Far, Far Away. The Children join in singing all songs including Twinkle Little Star
FROGGY GETS DRESSED (Johnathon London)
I Wanna Play In the Snow…. The Little frog learns an embarrassing lesson!
Nothing goes right, if you don’t get a good breakfast
A cause is something that makes something else happen;
An effect is what happens as a result of the cause. The idea that the mosquito is to blame for the unfortunate demise of the owl’s little baby.

The Importance about conservation, Do Not Waste our natural Gifts.
A fantasy Tale about Finding your Magic
A lesson about responsibility and introduction to the African Drum Djembi!-
Ki_shawhli language and translations.
SHEA, SHEA, COOLEA (african Dance Song)
Time to dance and Move Around… The African Play Ground song
Shared with children as Oba keeps them going with Head Shoulder’s Knees and Toes
Searching for new friends a little frog has a close call
RUN AWAY BUNNY(Margaret Brown)
No matter where you go, I’ll always be there. A little bunny wants to “get Away”
But Mommy has some other ideas. Unconditional Love
I LOVE YOU FOREVER (Robert Munsch)
A parents love is returned in the end… and the cycle continues
Popular Music Rhythms, and rhyming story song of a child’s imagination
Running wild..
I see the light in You, You See the light in me, Together we shine:
A beautiful story of how We all Need each other, namaste'.
PLEASE BABY PLEASE (Spike and Tonya Lee)
Using the fantastical Call and Response – Story style, This picture boofk comes to life
As Oba’ encourages the audience to join in on the telling.
THE THREE BEARS meet Golden Locks...
An old favorite with a new twist. The little girl with the glowing smile
And Mama Bear, has “ an Attitude!”

ANANSI'S TALE - Where Stories Come From
Long ago, the fable goes…The children had no-thing to do Until Anansi
Brought the stories back from the Sky King.

EAGLES WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE CHICKENS rise up and live as great as you know you are.

THE BRIDGE Two brother's mend their difference

CREATION By James Weldon Johnson

THE STORY OF LIFT EVERY VOICE The ANthem of the African American People

I LOVE MY PEOPLE The Anthem of a new generation of American's (video available on youtube-obking)

COWTAIL SWITCH- a person's spirit stays with us as long as they are remembered.

F.O.O.L. FRESH OUT OF LUCK - Search for what every one else has, will cause you to lose what you've been given

IT'S ALL ADAMS FAULT - responsibility, own up!

Influences & Inspiration

Phil Cohran - Kelan - Master Educator, Oscar Brown Jr. - James Brown the hardest working man in show business. Baba Jamal Koram - Masrer Storyteller, Jim May founder of Illinois Storytelling, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr., Stevie Wonder. Michael Jackson

Setup Requirements

Microphone, Monitor, Amp, Speakers, Cd or MP3 Stage, Chair & Djembe Drum