Meet Storyteller J’miah Nabawi


Welcome to Storyteller J’miah Nabawi’s online references and performing arts resources for programming, product information, bookings and opportunities for community partnerships and collaborations.  Managed by The Elijah Agency LLC. Thank you for visiting!


Masks and Making Faces. J’miah presents Mmoguo, Musical Storytelling at the Savannah Music Festival.  Photo by John Zeuli Photography

 About Storyteller J’miah Nabawi

A native of Philadelphia, PA, J’miah Nabawi is an award-winning, multi-faceted storyteller. His upbeat storytelling reflect the story-dance-musical storytelling drama found in many parts of Africa and its Diaspora. J’miah also tells and adapt stories from around the world. Through his presentations, he has often served as Cultural Ambassador, Program Host and Parent Engagement Facilitator at various venues presenting culturally entertaining, family-friendly, children’s programs and educational workshops. Bilingual in Spanish and a polyglot of sorts, J’miah is known for his inclusion of impromptu text and song in Japanese, Yoruba, French, Twi, Swahili and Chinese. J’miah has shared his brand of high-spirited storytelling across the U.S. and Mexico in schools; museums; colleges and universities; religious and Mind, Body, Spirit organizations. During his career, J’miah has often used his talent and name as a public figure to bring community awareness to social causes and services for the benefit of children, uninsured women and families; drug intervention; teen motivation; the homeless; elder-care; immigrant communities; and support for our military veterans and their families. He has appeared on the concert stage during regional and national festivals with professional chamber music, Jazz ensembles and university Mass Choirs.

Ask J’miah what has been his most challenging and inspirational work outside of the everyday style of storytelling he’s been doing for the past thirty years and he will tell you, “Preparing my narration and rehearsing with a professional chamber ensemble of strings and oboe for Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Jean de Drunhoff’s text for Francis Poulenc’s Babar the Baby Elephant was like WOW! Exhilarating!” 

Committed to Serving Others

Throughout his career, J’miah has used his talents to promote and encourage the publishing of traditional folktales and to present performance storytelling that encourages positive self-esteem and sensitivity to multicultural communities. He prioritizes helping children and teens, the disadvantaged and intercultural communication. J’miah is currently active as a roster traditional artist with Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) and with South Carolina Arts Commission’s (SCAC) as a teaching artist. His community endeavors: Helping the Homeless • Assisting the Elderly • Helping Individuals Stop Drug Use • Supporting Military Veterans • Supporting Immigrant Communities.

Citations, Recognitions and Awards

J’miah has received numerous recognitions for  giving back to his community to the benefit of family audiences, children and immigrant communities in urban and rural settings. His work has not gone unnoticed as he has received citations, congratulatory and honors from various organizations, city officials, schools and state run agencies such as: Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania • Blue Mountain Schools District in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania • Miami-Dade City Council in Miami, Florida • Public recognition and appearances with Boston’s Mayor, the late Thomas Menino, as READ Boston’s Bookmobile inaugural “Storybook Man” and storyteller.

J’miah is an esteemed recipient of the “ORACLE Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership, Southeast Region, for the contributions he’s made to his community through storytelling,” awarded by the National Storytelling Network (NSN) of Jonesborough, TN.


“Mr. Nabawi is one of Savannah’s most visible and favored storytellers. He has been the community’s choice for various festivities, with no barriers on race, ethnicity, or age. Whether it is through the Live Oak Public Libraries, The Telfair Museum, local churches, schools, universities, the leadership and service that he continues to provide through his profession is legendary here amongst Savannahians.”

Dr. Otis S. Johnson, Former Mayor of Savannah, GA


Learning is Understanding. We know that you have done this today, not for yourself, but for the ultimate good of our children and the betterment of their lives.  We fully realize that it will take work and dedication but we are willing to accept the task gladly.  We start with faith in ourselves, faith in our children and with a firm hope in what will come tomorrow.  I know I speak for everyone here when I thank Mr. Nabawi for sharing his expertise and his insights with us. I know that I have profited from being here, and in the name of us all, I thank you for caring enough to come.”

Sarah E. Boyd, Principal, Williamsburg County Magnet School of the Arts, Kingstree, SC


“The students at Jasper Elementary love J’miah. (The teachers at our school find him to be a full partner in curricular planning and implementation of lessons and units.) J’miah can tell stories, write and direct plays that are performed school-wide, teach small groups and make children laugh and smile. If he had a cape, he could fly . . . at least the children think so.”

Dr. Kathleen Thompson, Retired Arts Educator/Former Director of Cultural Projects, Georgia Council for the Arts


“Tuna taka maji sasa! We want water, now!” A Kenyan folktale unfolds during one of Nabawi’s impromptu storytelling ensembles.


For School Visits, Artist Residencies, Community Events and Collaborations
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"I just love how J'miah gets all of us to 'play' with our voices and faces and just get silly as adults. This really does help to bring the storybook alive and more fun at family gatherinds." ~ Julia Vargas
“I just love how J’miah gets all of us to ‘play’ with our voices and faces and just get silly as adults. This really does help to bring the storybook alive and more fun at family gatherinds.” ~ Julia Vargas



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