As part of the African Music Development Program, students from The Technical University of Kenya visited the Department of Performing Arts and Film at Makerere University in Uganda, for over a month from June 12th to July 16th. The 10 students participating in this exchange were selected through an application process.
The main objective of this experience was to engage in cultural and professional dialogues between students of common or related background, to reinforce their knowledge of each other’s cultural and musical expressions and promote a spirit of networking. It was a time of observation as well, with students identifying differences or similarities in teaching methods, between their home and hosting universities.
Experts introduced the students from TUK to Ugandan traditional drumming, popular music and dancing such as “Kisimba” or “Mwanga” with their specific cultural usage, historical meanings and origins. The students had also the privilege to experience how much traditional culture means to the local population and learn about the important role that festivals play in preserving and keeping this heritage alive.
So to recap the program included:
Tour in Kampala
Dance and movement-practical’s field day at Kawempe,
Workshop –Ugandan drums jam session
Fussing Ugandan and Kenyan traditional instruments
Jazz Resonance UNMDD Festivals
Organizers and participants alike felt that the exchange programme was a great success. Some of the students did not hesitate to share with the AMDP coordinators their opinions and feelings about the program. From Kenyan student Silas Mutuma Njuri:
“This program is doing wonders. If it were not of this program, I could not have gone to Uganda. Now I have friends there and even know their culture. AMDP is the flat form for cultural exchange.”
Let’s hope for AMDP upcoming activities to be as rewarding and productive as this one was.