Tolovana Arts Colony to hold storytelling workshop

Gideon For-mukwai will share a selection of personal stories in a workshop June 25.

CANNON BEACH — Gideon For-mukwai’s story begins in the central African nation of Cameroon.

“I got my first pair of shoes at age 10,” says For-mukwai. “It was almost like a right of passage, to have a pair of shoes.”

After college, those feet would take For-mukwai all over the world.

“There was a nomadic streak in me that pushed me to explore,” For-mukwai says. “I had this understanding that the way Cameroon was working, geopolitically, was not for me. I was so restless.”

After college in Cameroon, For-mukwai worked as a journalist in South Africa. But his desire to explore remained unquenched. He went to Singapore, Hong Kong and, working as a speaker and business consultant, began making inroads to the West. Last fall he moved to Gearhart with his wife.

From these worldly journeys, For-mukwai will share a selection of personal stories in a workshop Saturday, June 25 at Tolovana Hall in Cannon Beach.

The event will be two-fold: After the storytelling portion, For-mukwai will deconstruct those tales into their component parts, exploring what makes a fascinating and indelible story. To do so, he will draw from his studies as a business consultant. His book “Story Warrior” looks at the science of storytelling as well as how to relate, how to be memorable, and more.

“A good story must have conflict,” For-mukwai says. “A good story must have a good guy in pursuit of a goal, and that good guy gets into conflict.”

“It must also give us closure,” he adds. “Was it tragic? Was it comic? How did it get resolved?”

“You must also get the audience to relate, and to look at their own lives and connect.”

Details, he says, are also important.

“Instead of saying: ‘I had a drink,’ I should say: ‘I had an unsweetened black tea.’ That brings you there.”

Besides “Story Warrior,” For-mukwai is the author of “Facing Adversity with Audacity,” a memoir of his growing up and leaving Africa.

Some of those tales will be recounted here. For-mukwai is calling Saturday’s collection “From Dust to Snow.”

“I grew up in a dusty area,” For-mukwai says. “Now I live in a place where there is snow.”

Tickets to the one-and-a-half hour workshop, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, are $10 at the door. Tolovana Hall is located at 3779 S. Hemlock St. For more information, visit, email, or call 541-215-4445.

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