Internationally renowned storyteller visits Turi

We were very pleased and excited to welcome an Old Turian, Mara Menzies, to St Andrew’s School, Turi, last week. Mara Menzies is a storyteller based in Edinburgh, with a powerful, dynamic and physical style that captures the imagination of any audience. She has performed and led workshops at schools and festivals all around the world.

Returning to Turi was an incredible experience for Mara. She commented that so much had changed over the years and yet so much was still familiar. In her many stories, she took the students on wonderful journeys across Scotland where they discovered the changeling (a fairy child left in the place of a stolen human child), she revealed to them about how the Gikuyu women were finally allowed to eat meat and told them of the story of Mzee Chomba (the woman who threw a bone out of the window).

At the Senior School, assembly was a treat, as proud and beautiful women paraded themselves before the King but as they refused to look in the magic mirror they were sent back home. It was a pleasure to have conversations about story and storytelling, the value of stories and how stories can be of use in every aspect of our lives regardless the profession we may end up in.
The Turi Tots also went on an adventure where they saved themselves from a tyrant riding an evil crow. By using their newly acquired ninja skills and superpowers, they successfully fought them off by working together. The enthusiasm, imagination and willingness to take part made it an unforgettable experience.  Mara especially enjoyed listening to some of the ‘improvised stories’ by the children.


Many thanks to Nerida Draper and Liz Nyariki for organising Mara’s visit and to all the teachers for their help in bringing it all together. “Once a Turian, always a Turian” said Mara. “The sense of family is still there!” She thanked everyone and is looking forward to visiting again soon.

Mara shares stories from her dual Kenyan and Scottish heritage. She creates narratives, tours shows and leads workshops to demonstrate how stories can change the world. She is passionate about how storytelling improves creativity, develops listening skills, encourages reading for pleasure, challenges misconceptions, provokes thought, and promotes positive self awareness and confidence. You can find out more about her work at