Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa Teachers Teach Zulu Traditional Dance

09 September 2008

The eclectic beats of the dance steps and bodies sway as the dancers tell a tale of tradition against modernity.

Click to enlarge imageThe eclectic beats of the dance steps and bodies sway as the dancers tell a tale of tradition against modernity, of Christianity against the traditional witchdoctor, of conservative love against liberal love, of a quest for white collar jobs against digging the Shamba.

Click to enlarge imageThese are the scenes in "Wapi Wasichana". The play depicts the life of a young village boy who leaves his village dwelling hoping to find work in the city. What he eventually realizes is the similarity of hardship in both set ups. Finally he decides to go back home, disappointed but eager again to embrace his roots. The story is told through dances ranging from the Zulu jump steps, the boot dances the Pata Pata songs, the sounds of the African Ngoma, the piercing ululations of the village women, the shingling sounds of beads and the clamping force of shields and spears from warriors confronting their egos.

Click to enlarge image"Wapi Wasichana" is an African musical play inspired by the classic musical "Ipi Tombi" and is directed by Alistair Lowe and Joel Godiah, both teachers at The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. The co-directors have a vast experience of performance from mainstream plays to musicals that have been performed in Mombasa, Nairobi and other major towns in Kenya "It’s easy to ask our students to do CAS because then you can safely supervise while they get their hands dirty. This summer, Joel and I decided to work with unemployed youth and students, imparting our expertise at no cost to them." said Alistair Lowe, AKAM (Primary) "What Joel and I were looking for is raw talent. Artists who have not had dance experience but are thespians willing to work with us and create this spectacular show from movements improvised to thrill the Mombasa audiences."

Proceeds from the door will be donated to The Wema Centre for Street Kids.