Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dancing Magic

Story by Jenipher Awour
Photos by Sharon Akinyi

It’s  a Monday afternoon on the 20th of August  and I am at the Gifted Hands school compound in Kibera.  Here one can hear the sounds of drum beats coming from one of the classrooms.  This is the place where all the action is taking place this afternoon as kids participating in Uweza's new Dancing Club are practice their skills.

Preparing to dance
Uweza tutors Teacher Harriet and Teacher Apondi were here too. I did get to meet them and inquire their reason of being present, yet their tutorial program had taken some rest for this school holiday. “You see most of the kids were inspired when they heard we have dancing program slotted for this August holiday, and the majority will report earlier than even the expected time,” says Teacher Apondi.
The traditional dancing sessions are aimed to give kids with talents an opportunity to gain confidence. "You never know, perhaps we might end up with good dancers who can perform at bigger events," added Teacher Harriet.

Teacher Harriet plays the drums
In a short while I was also able to meet Fabian Owino and Anthony Juma, members of a local music group called Nairobi Drums, whom have been given the opportunity by Uweza to train dancing skills to youth from Kibera. According to Fabian Owino, their interactions with the kids  have helped them identify skills in some of them. “Already we have seen some of the kids who are fast learners while some are still learning gradually by watching others. That is normal and am sure with time they will get to be on the same level,” noted Fabian.

Students receive instructions from dancing teacher Fabian
Mr. William Moi, Uweza Country Director, told me that the aim of this program was to give kids some break from the normal school routine that is always packed with school homework and remedial classes. Jen Sapitro, Managing Director, was also present and added her sentiments that she had passed by to come and see how the sessions were going. "We have paid to rent the premises of the school since they have ample space that can accommodate all kids interested in dancing."

To conclude, I also got sentiments of some of the kids who had showed up today. Monica says she wants to nurture her talent in dancing while Quinter on the other hand notes that besides school work coming to the dancing group will refresh her mindsand also offer an opportunity to get to relax.

View a short video clip of the Dancing Club practicing for an upcoming peformance at Uweza Soccer Academy's Prizegiving ceremony here:

The authors of this story, Jennifer and Sharon, are members of the Uweza Journalism Club.

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