The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa goes M.A.D.

10 June 2008

After slightly more than three weeks of rehearsal, the Senior School students at The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa produced their 2nd, soon to be annual, MAD Night titled Welcome To My Life.

Written by.Sheliza Jamal
Click to enlarge imageAfter slightly more than three weeks of rehearsal, the Senior School students at The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa produced their 2nd, soon to be annual, MAD Night titled Welcome To My Life. This evening of Music, Art and Drama was run by student musicians, artists, dramatists and dancers who told the story of their lives. Year 8 student, Alim Alarakhia says, “It was MAD in a good way!” The performance was referred to by Les Wilkins, Head of Junior School as “top class entertainment from a group of happy and talented adolescents.”

Aimed at presenting the social issues and events that our youth encounter, the performance featured various forms of theatre, musical interludes, vibrant dancers and a colourfully animated backdrop. Welcome to My Life takes you on a journey through a student’s life with every day twists and turns. The theatrical elements carried the show through the use of short yet powerful vignettes. Based on actual events, they were written and performed with the intention of allowing the audience to see things from various perspectives, question decisions and invent their own conclusions.

The cast braved showcasing pertinent social issues such as bullying, blackmail and discrimination while continuing to highlight the positive moments in a student’s life.

Entertaining and enlightening, the performers captured your attention with their insight and humour. Complaining about “Teachers and Homework, Parents and Chores,” providing “Tools to Deal” and creating a positive and lasting impression; the actors, dancers and singers have covered all bases.

Karin Clough, Dean of Students was dazzled by the stunning performance by students from Year 7 to DP. Following the production, she commented on some of the issues that were raised, “I am still thinking about it and feeling duly impressed by the talent and the self awareness of our students. The message of the show was fantastic, and I kept thinking, “Wow! They do get it!” It was lovely to see them thinking deeply about how to do your best and be a good person, even when there are real pressures on you to do things differently. I also just loved the pace of the show; the mixture of drama, music, art, all flowed together so nicely and reinforced the message perfectly.”

This year we were lucky to have the Salsa Club and Break Dance Club integrated into MAD Night. Their hot and steamy moves kept the crowd on their toes.

Susanne Mungaro, the school Librarian and a parent at The Academy said, “I was thrilled and deeply touched by the creativity, talent, dedication and love the Senior School show, Welcome to My Life had presented to the audience. Not only did the show leave a big impression in the audience’s hearts, it equally moved actors, singers and dancers who breathed life into this show.” Susanne is already looking forward to next year’s MAD night! Equally moved by the performance, Dean of Studies, Jennifer Fenton praised the performance. “I have been teaching for over 20 years and have seen a lot of Senior School productions Welcome to My Life is by far the best show I have ever seen performed by students. I am amazed by their talent and was moved by the message”.

The students, parents and community members echoed the mass praise of the performance. The hard work of the students paid off as many continue to plea for an Encore!

The positive messages and insight delivered in MAD educated youth and adults alike and will not be forgotten. The creativity, talent and drive of the Senior School students has led to yet another successful MAD Night at The Aga Khan Academy and has you asking yourself the question, “What would you do?”