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Story Artist-Joan Effiong

Specialty:  Bilingual (Efik) & Nigerian Stories

Joan Effiong loves to tell stories from her childhood. Growing up in Calabar, Nigeria, in West Africa, Joan spent countless hours listening to her elders tell tales. She is the only girl in the family of six and second to the last child.

Both of Joan’s paternal and maternal grandmothers would gather all the children around and teach them important life lessons through narrative. They typically used animals to illustrate the type of behaviors they wanted to reinforce or discourage. Joan remembers many nights listening to her elders share this stories against the backdrop of an effervescent full moon. Joan passed this rich tradition down to her children who encouraged her to record her stories. Over the fourteen years, Joan has been sharing her stories throughout the state of Utah. Joan’s stories capture the rich and vibrant culture of Africa. Joan is a proud wife, mother, and grandmother. Her family is a great source of support to her. She loves family gatherings and continues to use these opportunities to pass down her oral history. Joan has told stories at Weber State University Storytelling Festival, in local schools and other community events to help youth and adults understand and embrace diversity in a nonthreatening way.

Joan has a master’s degree in Communication from BYU. She is also the Co-Founder and President of JENAR Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides critical aid and support in the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS in Calabar, Nigeria.

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