“African culture gives me a voice through drum & dance when I don’t feel comfortable speaking. Culture is my language.”-LEAF International Rwanda Culture Keeper David Kwizera
David Kwizera (LEAF International Rwanda Culture Keeper) & Schree Chavdarov (LEAF Global Engagement Director) traveled to Tanzania for a week of dynamic cultural exchanges & connections with Fredy Nganga (LEAF International Tanzania Culture Keeper) & Edward Ndoleli (LEAF International Tanzania ONEmic Studio Teaching Artist).
“We started at Feza International Junior Academy in Arusha, Tanzania. The energetic group of kids were 3-5 years in age and though they were young, they could DRUM! The kids were drumming traditional Rwandan rhythms of welcome within the first 20 minutes of the lesson. We closed the lesson with the song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – sung by a 3 year old student who felt the song reflected the moment. LEAF love was all around Feza International Academy.
We hopped across town to St. Joseph’s Secondary School for girls. This boarding school houses 250 students with 35 of them anxiously waiting to learn a new Rwandan inspired dance. David taught them Umushagiriro the dance of peace in Rwandan history. In exchange, the young girls shared their traditional dances from the Ayou, Pare, and Chiga tribes. With more than 120 Bantu tribes in Tanzania, we shared the similarities of culture from more than 30 regions.
In 2016, several students from Tanzania traveled to the LEAF festival & created cultural exchanges with our LEAF International Haiti teaching artists. So, the students closed the day with a special Haitian inspired dance that focused on movements of freedom and independence. A perfect ending that inspired strength, love, and connection.”
LEAF International East Africa (Rwanda & Tanzania) programs are made possible by the continued support of LEAF MemberSHIP. LEAF gratitude to all that make cultural preservation possible in our global communities. Asante’ Sana! Murakoze! THANK YOU!!!