My Very First Dance Lesson In Uganda
The day after I arrived in Uganda, I was up and out the door for a drive to UKC – Uganda Kids Canada, which is approx. 32km outside of Kampala. In Canada 32km would take you less than 1 hour, however because of the state of the roads and the traffic, this short distance took us close to 2 hours each way. My friend Maylynn Quan started this initiative a few years ago. The local kids and her had collected 8000 plastic bottles and built this amazing brick bottle hut, so that Yusuf (otherwise known as Byks) and Josephine, who live and work the land along with their children can teach music and dance to the local kids.
Both Yusuf and Josaphine, used to be dancers in the Ndere Dance Troupe – Uganda’s most notable dance troupe but got tired of not being their own boss. With Maylynn’s help they were able to build this amazing centre and teach what they know to younger and older generations alike.
They teach drumming, xylophone, string instruments and various dances. In Uganda, dance and song is very important to describe ones’ tribe. There are 56 tribes and approx. 9 indigenous communities that exist in Uganda and it is only through song and dance that they are able to express their individualism and traits that exist within their own tribes and regions.
Yusuf and Josephine also grow everything they eat, including coffee, plantain, beans, mango and other crops and have chicken and goats for eggs and milk.
While we were there, they sang and danced and I got the amazing opportunity to get a dance lesson from a very pregnant Josephine – I thought she was going to pop the baby out then and a drumming lesson from some of the students.
Visiting UKC and seeing the innovative ways they have used simple items like plastic bottles to build a bottle brick hut is nothing short of amazing. Below are photos from my trip, including the Brick bottle hut; the kids that I met there and the dance and drumming lesson’s I received.