On Wednesday, Sidcot welcomed back the Singing Children of Africa choir from the charity Educate the Kids, Kenya.
Throughout the day, the children joined our students in variety of activities starting with a Design Technology lesson – where they made solar powered cars with Mr Ruddle – and then in Food Technology where Mrs Knight prepared a Swahili recipe.
Next, it was over to the meeting house for a rehearsal with Intermezzo who had prepared a song for the occasion. Intermezzo sang Amani Utupe (Grant us peace, grant us courage) and then worked with choir leader Simon Munga to create a more authentic sound and feel.
‘This was a wonderful and unique opportunity to learn about and share traditional music’ Miss Collins.
After break, Third and Fourth Form were treated to a sneak preview of the concert that followed in the evening and given an opportunity to ask the choir more about their fundraising project. Students were captivated by the performance of well-known songs Siyahamba (We are marching) and This is Me which Simon had arranged especially for their visit to the UK.
In the afternoon, our visitors ‘buddied up’ with students in Lower Fourth who took them to lessons and lunch.
‘I had a great time with my buddy, Bedala. I made a new friend.’
‘We had so much fun getting to know each other and learning about life in Kenya.’
‘I learnt how to say ‘Hi’ in Swahili… ‘Jambo!’
As the school day came to an end, Third Form were given one more opportunity to experience traditional African dancing when Simon, Charo Katana and Kombe Nzai (leaders) led a dance workshop during PASS.
The highlight of the day however was in the evening, when the visitors gave a performance in the Meeting House. They performed a variety of songs in both Swahili and English, each complemented with traditional Kenyan dancing and dressed in their brightly-coloured costumes. After their first number they had the audience in the palm of their hands; their joy and infectious enthusiasm filling every inch of the Meeting House.
‘You could feel their energy radiate out from the stage’ Josie, J5
‘I couldn’t take my eyes off the choir – they were sensational!’ Harriet, J5
If you would like further information on 'Educate the Kids' or would like to apply to sponsor a child, please visit www.educatethekids.com
We look forward to their next visit.
Beth Collins & Paul Woolley (Director of Music)