Hey there!


I’m so happy to be able to share my love for stories, community, and effective communication with you. Stories connect us in the most visceral way.  History comes alive through stories. When we share our stories and listen to others share theirs we come to understand each other in deeper ways.  Stories entertain and celebrate and educate. Stories build bridges, open windows and open doors.  I love stories!

On this site you’ll learn about my work passion. I share stories with children and adults. I work with elementary schools and universities. I visit museums and perform in theaters. And I present workshops and storytelling with groups from educators, to women’s groups, to history and culture centers. I also use paint and paper to tell stories, so you’ll see some of my visual art as well.

Thank you for your interest in my work. And if you have any questions or would like to bring me and my work to your community, just drop me a line! I am always grateful for the opportunity to do what I love.


67 thoughts on “Hey there!

  1. Ann Bradford says:

    Hello! My husband was always told he was a Geechee. He was from Lake Providence, LA. In reading Gullah Branches Ronald states that the rice plantations did move west into LA. Any ideas for further research?

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Ann,
      I will ask Ron to make some suggestions for you. He’s familiar with a lot of the research regarding the West African rice culture in America. Let’s see what he comes up with!

  2. HI!!!!! OMG I remember watching you guys growing up on Gullah Gullah Island. I loved the fact that I could see island life, while never leaving the deep south. I just had to comment and say of course Hi.. Love your website ❤.

    • gullahmama says:

      Thank you Jasmine!I have to admit, I love living in an island community. So glad you were a part of our world.

  3. OMG…grew up watching you on Gullah Gullah Island. I loved seeing the islands even though I lived in the suburban deep south. I loved the show….You are so creative.. I will be sharing this site. Peace & Blessings ✌❤

  4. Rob says:

    Hi Natalie. I just came across your site and I wanted to say thank you so much for everything on Gullah Gullah Island. I grew up watching it and it’s a shame there are not more programs of that educational quality around. I am an elementary school teacher now and unfortunately the shows the kids watch seem to do more harm than good nowadays. But thank you again to you and Ron and I’ll definitely have to pick up some of your and Ron’s writings.
    PS- do you know if they sell the seasons of Gullah Gullah on DVD?

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi, Rob. Sometimes it’s a shock to realize how much time as passed! Thank you for your kind note. About DVD’s — I’ve heard that some may be available on Amazon.com, but I don’t know for sure. Look and see!

  5. christopher smallwood says:

    I remember watching gullah gullah island when I was a kid.I use to love that show as a kid.Its good to know yall doing good

  6. Ashley says:

    Love your site and the passion that is so evidently put into it. As an elementary educator and the mother of a little one, I am so grateful that I can find episodes of Gullah Gullah Island on amazon prime. Wish there were still wholesome educational shows around like yours. I am 25 and remember watching any chance I could growing up. Now my daughter can’t get enough either. Watching you sell dolls at the market now!

    • gullahmama says:

      Thank you for your note. I get such a kick out of hearing of a new generation of watchers! I’m still creating and crafting things. Doing a lot more painting as well. Time moves on but we remain our essential selves. Please hug your little one for me — my little one (Simeon) turned 21 this year! I still hug him when I get the chance. 🙂

  7. Leah says:

    Hi! I’m currently watching your show on Amazon prime with my 2 yr old! He’s dancing like crazy! I used to watch when I was little and I’m now 26! I miss this show!

  8. I grew up watching Gullah Gullah Island and I still find myself humming the theme song! My future kids will grow up on it too! Thank you guys for making my childhood so awesome!! Lets all go to Gullah Gullah island!! 🙂

    • gullahmama says:

      The songs stick with you! Every time I get in the car for a trip I find myself singing, “and it’s one, two, three we’re on our way!”

  9. Julia says:

    Hello Natalie and Ron,

    Wow!!! I am so happy to see you guys still pushing forward and being out there with such creativity. Gullah Gullah Island had such a positive message and a burst of creativity that I was raised to keep close to my heart because of that adventurous show. I am so over-joyed to see that you remained that fire to burn. I was now 24 years old since last month in December and I grew up with your show and learned to never give up on my dreams. Seeing your show and the talents that you’re continuing to show is very inspirational. I just moved in back with my father whom is a single Parent taking care of my two half baby sisters and when I found out that they never heard of Gullah Gullah Island I felt that that had to change immediately now there are a huge fan of the show and now when the theme song pops in my head I sing it out of nowhere and my sisters come along with me as if we are the pointer sisters. It was because of that show that I discovered my talent of singing and loving music and write song lyrics and poems and well, I want to say thank you and that I am proud of both of you guys. Thanks for the positivity it was and still is hard to find positive in my life somehow alI seem to find it when I watch you guys. I guess you’re never to old to get in touch with the inner child. Sorry for the long message I know you are busy but I just wanted you to know how much of a difference you had made already. Keep going strong God bless!!! P.S. I really love your artwork. I am Puerto Rican, but I appreciate fine art from many different cultures. I am interested to see more of your work. Thank you for your time.

    • gullahmama says:

      Dear Julia,
      This morning was difficult. I wondered if there was anything else I had to offer and, if so, how I would do it. How could I find ways to keep doing what I loved to do? Did what I loved to do even matter? We have days like that sometimes. And then, I checked my email and discovered your lovely note. Thank you so much for YOUR positivity!! You were a blessing to me this morning. And thinking of you and your little sisters bursting into song makes me smile. I still burst into song out of nowhere and so do my children, even though they are now grown!!
      You have reminded me of how important it is to reach out and share good thoughts with others. Yours made my day.
      Wishing you and your family a blessed and music filled New Year.

  10. I’m a grown adult shamelessly watching Gullah Gullah island right now. I also share it with the kids at the daycare where I work. I’m so glad it was finally released on DVD. It was such a great part of my childhood – there’s just something about it that’s just calming and so very happy. I know you’re up to other stuff these days but just wanted to send out a big thanks to you, Ron and the rest of the cast for all the great memories!

    • gullahmama says:

      Thank you for your note. Being a part of Gullah Gullah Island was a special time in our lives and I’m happy that it continues to provide joy — no matter what age you are! So glad the show is on DVD now. It took years!

  11. The Ritz Family says:

    My 17 month old twins absolutely love your show. I can ask her what she wants to watch and it’s always ‘Gullah Gullah!’ They are glued to the television when I turn it on. What a great show. =)

  12. Anthony Whitaker says:

    OMG! Mrs. Daise I grew up on Gullah Gullah in the 90s. You were always my favorite show to watch and I had a Benya Benya stuffed animal. I’m so glad that you are still active doing wonderful things. Hey There is a great project!

  13. Jennifer Byrd says:

    Once again I enjoyed your performance at our school. My daughter is in the 1st grade and saw you whe she was in kindergarten. When she reads books she expresses everything in thatshe reads. When she saw you this year she said to me ” mommy she tells stories just like I do.!” Then she retold the whole story with song to her daddy and nana twice ! She wrote about you in her journal . I love that you have touched my cholds life and I was able to do MARY MACK with you on stage (daughter said I did a very good job ). Icould go on about the day that you were there but other readers may not understand why I think you are a blessing and such an awesome and amazing woman !

    • gullahmama says:

      Jennifer, Thank you! It is always my joy to perform and when I hear that it has meaning to those who are there, it affirms that I am on the path God set for me. I love that your daughter was able to share the song and story. THAT’s what’s up!! Thank you for being willing to come up and play with me. You helped make it a good day. Please hug your daughter for me and I appreciate your reaching out.

  14. Kate says:

    I loved Gullah Gullah Island as a toddler! It’s been years since I’d seen it and I finally found it on TV and shamefully spent all morning watching:). You and Ron are very talented and I’ll always love Gullah Gullah Island.

  15. JT says:

    My daughter loves watching Gullah Gullah I must have watched this rhyme time episode 100 times.. It’s really neat having her watch some of the shows that I grew up watching every once and a while I remember an episode of the show from when I was younger awesome feelings of nostalgia.. Thank You

    • gullahmama says:

      Thank you JT. I, myself, have feelings of nostalgia from that time when my own little people were sweet and little! Thank you for reaching out and hugs to your daughter.


  16. Keith says:

    Hello Ms. Natalie, I just really wanted to tell you that your show “Gullah Gullah Island” meant so much to me growing up and it still does, today. I’m 24 now and I still love to sing and learn about other cultures. I had trouble connecting with other kids when I was younger, so the shows I grew up with have became a part of me. So much so, that You, Mr. Ron and everybody on the show honestly felt like family. And of course, my wonderful real family had good things to say about you, too:)

    I am so glad to see you’re still spreading positivity to young people. And BTW, I do think that kids TV is lacking something your show had. Maybe it’s time for a reboot?;) Thank you, so much and tell Mr. Ron and your family I said hello! Greetings from Chicago!

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Keith, so glad we could be a part of your childhood. The show meant a lot to us as well. It provided our own children with a chance to see themselves as they truly were. Good stuff. Thank you for your kind words and your note. Reboot? I don’t know about that, but anything can happen!

  17. Tamera says:

    Dear Natalie,

    My children grew up watching your show Gullah Gullah Island on Nickelodeon. I am so thankful for the time and effort you and your husband Ron put into it to make it such a high quality, fun, entertaining, and educational program.
    There was one song in particular that my daughter simply adored. She wouldn’t go to sleep without me singing it to her. It was a lovely little lullaby. I am wondering if by chance you recall it and might possibly be able to help me with the proper wording to the song. As I recall, it said “It’s time for little beauties to close their eyes and say night night”… I could very well be mistaken though so any help that you may be able to give would be appreciated beyond words.
    Thank you so much for the memories that were made while my children and I watched your show together! They are treasured.
    I would be overjoyed to have the honor of hearing back from you.
    Most Sincerely,
    Tamera Johnson

    • gullahmama says:

      Dear Tamera,
      Yes, I remember that song. I wrote it for our own children and my children wouldn’t go to sleep without it. I sang it on the show when they asked for a lullaby at the last minute! This is how I sang it at home: “It’s time for little beauties to close their eyes and say night-night. It’s time for little beauties to close their eyes and say night-night. Close your eyes my little beauties, say night-night my little girl, go to sleep my little beauty you’re my precious little pearl. It’s time for little beauties to close their eyes and say night-night.” I sometimes changed it to “…say night-night my little boy, go to sleep my little beauty, you’re my precious pride and joy…” I know we changed that line on the show but I can’t remember what it is!!


      • Tamera says:

        Dear Natalie,
        Thank you ever so much for writing back to me! I am so happy that you were able to give me the words to your beautiful lullaby. I didn’t know that you had written it for your children. What a wonderful gift it was for you to share with everyone who watched Gullah Gullah Island. Your lullaby and the story of how we came to learn it and what a creative treasure you are will be passed down in our family through the generations.
        Many blessings to you and yours! – Tamera

      • Dom says:

        Is the song available anywhere on a recording? I would sing this song to my daughter and even learned to play it on my guitar. I’d like for her to see a video of where it came from.

      • gullahmama says:

        Hi Dom,
        Are you talking about the “Night Night Song?” If so, I have an early recording of it on CD. Let me know and I can send it to you! If you want video you may have to go to Amazon. I know the show can be streamed from there. And you might find it on YouTube. Everything is on you tube… 🙂

  18. Taniishia says:

    Hello mrs natali. Im taniishia i am 30 years of age i grew up watching you guys every single day i wish you guys come back on tv so my kids and family can grow to watch your African show . I kinda cried when i saw a pic of you guys on fb reminds me of how life used to be for me. We dont have any good shows nowadays for our African families they dont want us to grow and expand our minds. Welp enough of the sad story i miss you and im sure alot of other 80’s and 90’s babies do as well. Hope you guys are living a bless life toodles ✌😀😀

  19. Holden Kripacz says:

    Holy moley! Here I am sitting at work when my coworkers and I start to reminisce the shows we watched as children.There was a single show we all agreed was the best! Gulla Gulla Island was wonderful for me, growing up as a person of color I was subjected to always having Caucasian actors entertain me on the TV and seeing a severe lack of persons of color.

    Gulla Gulla Island was so culturally ahead of it’s time that it’s messages can easily be applied to everyone in these violent, trying times.

    I just wanted to personally thank you for making my childhood filled with music, laughter, and polliwogs!

    • gullahmama says:

      Thank you Holden! Isn’t everyone’s life better with music, laughter and polliwogs? Hope there’s still some of each of these in your life! Thanks for your note, it made my day.

  20. Rebecca says:

    I am so happy to see your smiling face and find your website. My now 20 year old son and I spent many, many hours watching your show and listening to the songs in the car. This morning I’m a little overwhelmed and, as often happens in that situation, the song comes back to me – “slow and steady, easy does it, you don’t have to run you know, to get to where you want to go, just keep it steady, keep it slow”. I just wanted you to know how much of a positive impact you’ve had on my life with that one little song and your steady voice.

  21. Bridget says:

    Gullah Gullah island was THE show to watch in our house. We had so much fun singing and going on adventures.

    Today my children are ages 28, 27 and 21 and we still talk about your show. My oldest even sends me clips of the show because he knows how much I really enjoyed it.

    Thank you for the fun, laughter, friendship, life lessons and the treasured moments of bonding with my children.

    Best wishes and love from the Oliver family.

  22. Maleca says:

    Hi Natalie, I would love to find out more about having you do storytelling at a family event. I met you seveal years ago at Beth’s wedding in Charleston. Our family truly misses the show. My oldest daughter (now 25), still does her Binyah Binyah Polliwog impersonation.

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Maleca,
      I laugh when I think of all the little people who grew up to do Binyah Binyah impressions! I was at a teacher conference this week and met a few! 🙂 Requests for presentations/performances can be made via my website: nataliedaise.com There’s a link there. Thanks for your note and for your patience!


  23. Hi Natalie Daise
    This Is Jamie Earls From Ola Arkansas i’m 23 years old
    how are you, how the life treating you, how ur husband Ron Daise and you’re Kids Simeon And Sara Daise Doing, i wanted to say i’m a big fan of you’re show Gullah Gullah Island, i just love everything especially the songs, stories, the characters, the scenes, each episode there all fantastic, thanks for making our childhood yall are amazing of what yall do, do u and ur cast still keep in touch since The gullah gullah Island been Done over with or how are the cast of the gullah gullah island. but um i wanna say thanks again for making our childhood, u have a beautiful singing voice and ur really talented women. so does the cast of the and even ron daise to. yall are amazing keep up the good work yall.

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Jamie,
      What a nice note. Thank you! Forgive the delay in responding. We were in the path of Hurricane Matthew and just got our electric power back. Yay!


      • i’m sorry that yall were in the middle of the hurricane Matthew, i hope everyone is doing okay but i’m glad yall are okay and everything, and um happy that yall got yall electric back on. God Bless you and ur family. and take care.
        Sign jamie Earls

  24. Amy G. Jackson says:

    Natalie Daise…storyteller and preacher extraordinaire…I was enchanted by your lovely message at Holy Cross Faith Memorial last Sunday, December 11…thank you.
    One of my favorite picture story books is called THE WEDNESDAY SURPRISE by Eve Bunting…as a Reading Specialist, I found it a perfect story and take great pleasure in recommending it to you.
    Amy G. Jackson

    • gullahmama says:

      Amy, thank you. It was an honor to be there. And thank you for the recommendation. I’m always looking for good stories.


  25. Amy G. Jackson says:

    Natalie Daise…I recommended THE WEDNESDAY SURPRISE after my wonderful experience with you at Holy Cross in December….one more….SAHARA SPECIAL by Esm Raji Codell…stunning…

  26. Ms. Daise, I’ve fallen in love with your collard queen painting. Just exquisite. Do you have prints of this magnificent piece.
    If you don’t would it be all right if I frame the article for my dining room.

    love, molly pratt

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Molly,
      I have prints of the Collard Queen now! You can find them at nataliedaiseart.com. Go to paper giclee link and scroll down!

      Thanks, Natalie

  27. Vivian Bikulege says:

    Hi Natalie,
    Reaching out via your blog because I do not have an email address for you. It was a pleasure meeting you last night. Having just ended my role as a caregiver, I wanted to reach out and offer help if you need it with contacts, ideas and maybe advice on how to navigate. Contact me anytime. Vivian P.S. – love your energy and your blog.

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Vivian,
      Thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you as well. I also wished I’d gotten contact info, so I’m so glad you reached out! I am so overwhelmed right now. Trying to take things a step at a time. There are just so many steps! I appreciate your offer to assist. This morning I took a long walk through town and had breakfast with friends who I encountered by chance. Tomorrow I meet with hospice. Deep breath… And maybe good burgers!

      Thanks again,

  28. Julia N. says:

    Mrs Natalie Daise, I was just thinking about so much that has changed in comparison of how things were when I was a little girl back in the 90’s. Now I am a 27 year old woman with a lot of hardships trying to make things better in my life and making difficult decisions. Then I reminisce about Gullah Gullah Island and seeing how much you still are an inspiration to me and to a lot of people. I am also wondering if you are still making those beautiful necklaces you had posted on this site. Nonetheless, with so much negativity going on in this world and in this Country especially, it makes me smile to see that you are still going strong and it inspires me to keep going and have hope and most importantly be a strong woman. I had that same feeling when I watched Gullah Gullah Island that that sense of hope that things will get better. You are doing incredible things and are contributing so much into this society to try to make things better. I want to thank you for that. I never met you before, but we need more of that positivity in this world. God bless you and your family Mrs. Daise.

    • gullahmama says:

      Dear Julia,
      What a lovely letter. Thank you. Just like you, I find some days harder to navigate than others. I wonder what to do or how to make the right choice. I wonder if I bring any value to the world. But then I am reminded to be present in the moment. I look for opportunities to express my gratitude and sometimes that starts with the little things. This morning I wrote in my journal how grateful I was for shelter, for my blue fountain pen, for my friends and family, for sweet potatoes… 🙂 And now you have become a part of my gratitude. I am grateful that you reached out to me with such kindness. Keep hoping. Despite how things appear, there is always reason to hope. Fear blinds us to that. But if you and I are here in the world — and Ron and Sara and Simeon and so many wonderful people — good things can and will continue to happen. I believe that. Keep hoping Julia. And every day acknowledge your gratitude.

      Sending you Love and Blessings,

  29. Kavitha says:

    Hi Natalie,
    I remember watching you on Gullah Gullah Island when I was 8-10 years old with my sister. I really think that was a wonderful show for kids of any age to learn about culture in your town. Now that I am 31 years old, I want to see that show all over again on youtube. I am a teacher’s assistant in a childcare center, and I have always been a kid at heart ever since I grew up. I hope you and Ron and well, same with the kids. From, Kavitha

    • gullahmama says:

      Hi Kavitha,
      it’s so nice to hear from people who grew up with us! We are all well. The kids are no longer kids of course, but they are wonderful adults and we are so proud of them. I hope you continue to be a kid at heart! Natalie

  30. Kavitha says:

    Hi Natalie,
    I forgot to ask you this. I am writing some storybooks for children, and I need to find an illustrator for them. Some of the books is a series called Ginger The Fairy, and one is on alphabets. Can you please illustrate them for me? I am writing them, and you can illustrate them. We can publish them and sell the books worldwide. I hope this works for you! From, Kavitha

    • gullahmama says:

      Kavitha, It’s always great to hear of the book projects that are being developed. Unfortunately I get a lot of requests to illustrate books and at this point I am unable to commit to any more projects. I wish you much success.

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