Africa

 
The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Government Support Is Essential, Especially Right Now

10-07-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected many economic sectors across the world—none more so than the cultural and creative industries. Cultural heritage infrastructures, museums, libraries, galleries, cinemas, and arts education institutions have been locked down. Shows, exhibitions, fairs, cultural tourism, and international exchange opportunities for artists have been canceled. Millions of artists have lost their jobs, and people everywhere have lost access to cultural life. Less visible but equally important are the millions more whose jobs depend on the work of artists.

Saved by Music Foundation: Restoring Hope and Building Trust

10-07-2020

Saved by Music Foundation is a community-based non-governmental organization located in Mbale, a city in eastern Uganda. As a former street child who was saved from the streets by music, I started the organization in 2009. Children face many challenges in our community—extreme poverty, child abuse, drug abuse, child pregnancies and marriages, lack of access to education and housing, and so much more. As a result, many children become hopeless. It is easy to fall victim to the streets, where many start using drugs or join criminal gangs, putting their lives on the line while becoming dangers to the community. It was in these circumstances that I decided to do something to help restore hope among children and youth like me.

Ghetto Classics Update

09-02-2020

It has been such a hard time for the art industry to be running its usual activities all over the world since the coronavirus outbreak.

The Rainbow Academy: Warriors of the Rainbow Nation, South Africa

09-02-2020

The year 2010 was very significant in South Africa. During that 16th year of our country’s free and democratic reign, we hosted the first-ever World Cup Soccer Tournament on the African continent. It was perhaps our most prominent spotlight on the world stage since 1994, when South Africans rebelled against the brutal and systematic rule of legalized segregation and white supremacy called “Apartheid.” The 2010 World Cup felt like something of an announcement—a renewed celebration of our many cultures, communities, and opportunities. Amidst that backdrop of hope and justice, The Rainbow Academy was born in Cape Town.

Bugandan Traditions – Amagunjju

09-02-2020

Once upon a time, a king of Buganda died. When his heir was born, the baby’s uncle Gunjju created a dance to keep the young monarch constantly happy, as a crying king is said to bring bad luck. Today, the dance, now called the amagunjju, is performed on various occasions such as weddings, birthday parties, introduction ceremonies, and many others.

Concert at Your Door: Moments of Solidarity between Eswatini Students and Korean Musicians during Lockdown

08-05-2020

The lingering pandemic has reminded us how capable we are of influencing each other’s lives. We have seen that without kindness, love, and patience, we can never achieve true justice and unity in our global society. In these past months of solitude, communities are naturally turning to music as a universal language, sending love, hope, and empathy to people all over the world. In the small, landlocked southern African country of Eswatini, we have witnessed miraculous moments of solidarity between musicians in South Korea and Eswatini through our program, Africa Ntjilo Empowerment.

Positive Fatalism and Social Music Projects in Kinshasa, DR Congo

07-01-2020

In Kinshasa, the majority of the population, which is close to 10 million, subsists on less than 2 USD a day—and this is in a place where life, at best, is expensive. Many people live in excruciating poverty. They exist in survival mode. Disease, hunger, and death are omnipresent. There is little prospect of improvement; on the contrary, the standard of living appears to be worsening for millions of people in Kinshasa. On top of the struggle to survive, they must also reckon with politicians, police, and soldiers, who may harass or rob them, or worse.

Musicians Without Borders: Rwanda Youth Music

06-01-2020

Those conditions of safety, inclusion, creativity, equality, and quality guide Musicians Without Borders’ methodology for facilitating music-making. Musicians Without Borders uses the power of music for social change and peacebuilding, working in communities around the world affected by war and armed conflict.

Bringing the Joy of Music to Children of Johannesburg

05-04-2020

The Music Enlightenment Project (MEP) is a community-based initiative in the heart of Braamfontein, Johannesburg, with the vision of a world where the lives of all children are transformed and enriched through music education.

The Ubuntu Music Program: Strengthening Community through Music and Athletics

04-02-2020

The Playing For Change Foundation has been working in Rwanda since 2011, using music and sports as tools for positive change and education. Ubuntu is a Bantu word that means “humanity towards others”; the Ubuntu Philosophy is a humanist concept that could be summed up as “I am because we are,” and is based on the idea that there is a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. This way of thinking inspired the name of our program in Rwanda: the Ubuntu Music Program.

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