Teacher’s Mind : FESPAD: A timely spice for the holidays

Tomorrow, most schools will close for their three-week holidays. The second term is usually the longest school term in the year and holidays always come as a relief from the academic duels of school.

Tomorrow, most schools will close for their three-week holidays. The second term is usually the longest school term in the year and holidays always come as a relief from the academic duels of school.

The closing date for this term coincides with the opening date for the famed FESPAD dance festival. The biennial dance festival better known as the Pan-African Dance Festival (FESPAD) organised for the first time by Rwanda’s Development Board (RDB) kicks off on Saturday July, 24, soon after schools have broken off for their holidays.

The fact that the event will be celebrated across the country at different venues is a godsend since everyone can get to partake in the festivities. Students should utilise this chance as there is a lot to learn.

Starting from July 24 to 31 and with eleven countries from across the world participating, this is a must-attend event. With dance workshops and competitions, students with talent ought to be a part of this great spectacle if only as spectators.

The Head of Tourism and Conservation department of RDB, Rica Rwigamba has argued that the event will serve as an opportunity to revamp the creative industry of Rwanda.

The younger generation has to be the engine of this industry and what better way to achieve this than by tapping into the adrenaline filled youth. 

The biggest attractions at each FESPAD have always been the numerous performing musicians. This year’s event meets the billing with local musicians like Diplomat, Kitoko, Holy Jah Doves, Massamba, Miss Jojo, and Shanel among others.

Other East African countries will be represented by big names like Isaiah Katumwa, Radio and Weasal, Chameleon, Cindy, Bebe Cool, Necessary Noise, Nameless, and Ali Kiba. The star studded cast will be crowned by names like D’Banj (Nigeria), Kofi Olomidde (DRC), plus Lauryn Hill and Kymani Marley from USA.

Even though US star Chris Brown will be absent the event looks set to be an interesting one.

Many students look up to these artists as role models and that’s why they imitate their trademark dances and mime their songs. Seeing them live on stage keeps the youngsters’ dreams alive. In the audience, the next new artists are always watching and trying to learn from the best.

Being the main agenda for most school going children this holiday, parents should not relax their guard. It is important to remind your children to be disciplined and careful as they go out to attend FESPAD events. The much younger ones should only go in the company of older guardians.

Students should desist from indulging in any anti-social behaviour as they may end up providing work for the law enforcement officers. I don’t think there is anyone who wishes to start the long awaited holidays with handcuffs around their wrists.

There is a lot to learn at this year’s FESPAD fete especially as far as African culture and dance is concerned. An opportunity to be part of this learning experience should not be squandered. Enjoy your holidays.

ssenyonga@gmail.com

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