Soweto, The Kliptown Youth Project and Thulani Madondo

I landed up in Soweto at the Kliptown Youth Project on a random Saturday afternoon.

As it turns out, the group of artists from Reunion staying at the same place as me, were performing that afternoon. I asked if I could tag along and be a supporter. It was the best random afternoon of my life.

Heading to Soweto, with no idea what to expect, I was accompanied by one of these French guys. As it turns out, he was the main leading performer in the entire performance. The act was a collaboration with the Soweto folk, and the Reunion artists, where the combined Gum Boot Dancing form South Africa, with French chanting, drumming and break-dancing.

Like seriously, the afternoon was completely vibrant and spectacular. Beyond a shadow of a doubt the community surrounding this project all loved the integration from the group visiting for three months from Reunion. Students in their late 20s had given up some weeks of their lives, to perform side by side, with the performers from Soweto, and bring about a fusion of African and French performing arts.

I was convinced from that moment onward how important it is to at least attempt to contribute whatever talents you have in the business world to the center. Its a huge undertaking feeding 400 students twice a day, and I learned a whole bunch sitting in the kitchen. The girls were happy to braid my hair for me.

And then finally, the afternoon’s performance began. An energetic performance from both groups, merged into a very talented performing arts group. So much so that they have performed all around South Africa.

We saw gum boot dancing, the Snake Dance, some break-dancing, acrobatics, singing, chanting and crowd interaction. Absolutely mesmerized I left with several memories and many new friends from the center.

Thulani Madondo

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Who knew that magic existed in a random encounter for me that day, leading to world class performing artists from Reunion and the Kliptown Youth Program.

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