Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Handover at Mshawa Basic School

Meet the children of Mshawa Basic School. They are assembled for the presentation of almost 200 standard school books that were purchased with donations made by my generous family and friends. We bought books for all grades in the subjects of mathematics, english, creative studies and technology, social and developmental studies and integrated science. Also, we bought some supplies for the school, like chalk, pens, flipchart paper, permanent markers and printing paper. The school administration showed their gratitude by hosting an official handover of the books. An official from the Dept. of Education came for the ceremony. He is pictured below receiving the books and holding them up for display.

I read a speech in local language and English.

And, then we celebrated. The children staged a series of traditional dances. The first is called Ngoma and is a dance from the Ngoni tribe. They wear animal skins and hold staffs while singing and keeping beat with their feet. The dance is a one of togetherness and all are welcome to join in if they feel the spirit take them.

The traditional dance below is called Gule Wamkulu (The Big Dance). This dance is my favorite. Some men beat drums while others dress in masks and take on animal spirits or whatever spirit is invoked by the mask. The Nyow (another name for the dance) dancers are considered to be magical because they display amazing feats of strength and stamina. Below are pictures of two animal spirits and a man dressed as a woman. He moves like a woman and dances the traditional dance of a woman. I love this dancing for its creativity and artistry. 

 All the dancing was performed by school children. Some are older than it takes time for many of these children to make it through the school system. Still, the purchase of books will go a long way in helping to meet the needs of this school. For all those that donated, thank you so much for your help. The children and teachers are immensely grateful! The celebration was a good day for all. I wish all of you were there.

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