Anaka P7 Music, Dance and Drama equipmentApril 16, 2015
The school’s head-teacher, Lily-Rose, is a firm believer in nurturing her students’ talents, which is why the school places a strong emphasis on encouraging extra-curricular activities. Lily-Rose told us “we really recognize that children’s gifts are not limited to their academic aptitudes; children are gifted in different ways and we want to give children the opportunity to explore all their potential talents; this will enable them to grow into well-rounded individuals”.
Indeed, Anaka P7’s students are exceptionally gifted in music and dance. Last year, the school’s Music, Dance and Drama club were crowned the best club in the Nwoya district. Unfortunately, the group did not enjoy the same success at the regional competition because they were not clothed in the proper attire. However, David, the school’s talented and enthusiastic music and drama teacher who has served at the school for two years, is feeling very excited at what the coming year may hold for the club: “ myself and the students feel very optimistic about the next competitions, as we really think we could win. We work very hard, and with the new uniforms and instruments, there is now nothing standing in our way for success. We are so grateful for these precious gifts”.
With a range of new costumes, the children truly look the part, and the students take great pride in donning their new outfits. Florence, in P5, told us: “we love our new costumes, we feel so smart- I don’t want to take it off!” The students of Anaka P7 are also enjoying having a wide range of instruments at their disposal; many children have an amazing ear for music, and are able to effortlessly play any instrument they pick up, although the Xylophone seems to be a particular favourite amongst the students!
Throughout history, music has been a powerful tool of communication- to share stories, struggles, and success. During a visit by African Revival staff, the club performed a folk song and dance, depicting the struggles of a marriage. Dressed in their new brightly-coloured costumes, the group sang about a drunken and aggressive husband who would not contribute to the household, whilst his wife was left to tend to the fields, and the home. During the performance, the wife takes action, calling a meeting with his parents to discuss the problems within the marriage, until resolution and reconciliation is achieved.
As the pupils harmonize beautifully and dance energetically to the rhythm of an African drum, the children clearly enjoy these performances. However, in spite of the fun, these songs also help children learn important lessons which may serve them well in the future; how husbands and wives should treat each other, and how to resolve conflict in a productive manner. Moreover, learning complex songs and poems also helps children in building their English language and memory, as well as increase their confidence.