The Singing Wells project in Kisoro was a great success. Over three days in Kisoro, we recorded the songs and dance of six Batwa communities and in doing so learned a great deal about their history and their lifestyle in Uganda today. The following week, we invited ten of the Batwa performers to the Ketebul Music studios in Nairobi to record more songs, and in particular, collaborate with contemporary music artists to generate new material for ‘Influences’ – a series of new songs influenced and inspired by traditional themes.
Our aim is to provide a lasting benefit for the Batwa community in Uganda and we are doing this through our continuing relationship with UOBDU. We were delighted to receive this message from Henry Neza, UOBDU Capacity Building Officer and our liaison contact with the Batwa communities while we were in Kisoro.
The Batwa of Kisoro as a result of your visit felt an international belonging and recognition. Through the generation of money by the Abubilla Music team to the Batwa who performed their cultural dance, the Batwa managed to acquire things like goats, clothes, seeds, utensils, beddings and tarpaulins/tents to cover their leaking houses. Eating good food among Batwa families was also another priority and change. After the visit of Singing Wells to Kisoro there was an opportunity for some Batwa who had exposure to the outside life when they visited Nairobi and were able to interact with the Ford Foundation. During this trip the Batwa benefitted from some materials such as clothes, shoes and money which improved on their social status by dressing like dominant tribes here. This gave them confidence and changed their behaviour. Today the non-Batwa believe and agree that Batwa can look smart if they are given the chance to compete with others in many different fields. All the best, Henry.
For a full report of the Singing Wells Batwa music recordings please click here: SWP report from Kisoro, Uganda