Over 150 student artists and performers rallied together in a bid to challenge the citizens of Dar es Salaam on the dirty business of "rubbish". Gathered at the Russian Culture Centre for two consecutive Saturdays, the students explored different ways of inspiring collective action for a cleaner City.
After a hard hitting presentation on "waste", followed by facilitated discussion by Matrix and Roots & Shoots, the students divided themselves into groups representing Art, Music and Drama. Each ensemble was tasked to create an artistic expression that would inspire the public to "sit up and take notice". These representations were to form the backbone of a program that would launch Nipe Fagio and the commencement of the Kivukoni Cleanup Campaign.
Within moments, the Musicians had us toe tapping to their up tempo beats, and catchy tunes. The lyrics were short and punchy leaving listeners with little doubt about the urgency of their message. At the launch, they were joined on stage by Banana Zorro and Sauda Simba for a live rendition of Nipe Fagio, which had the crowd on their feet in a rhythmic shuffle.
But the air of festivity gave way to a pensive hush as the Drama Group took to the stage deftly weaving stories with a personal resonance. In a world obsessed with heroes and headlines, it was refreshing to be reminded that real power lies in the little things that we all can do.
Not to be out done, the Artists responded with an enormous 6 x 2m canvas depicting a women painting a brighter future bringing with it, a message of hope: For as long as we can imagine such a future we can make it happen.
Meanwhile a second group of artists were stopping the traffic with their work. Bold statements, like "Usitupe Takahovyo" and "I am the Change" crafted with recycled materials on large boards were paraded in the traffic during rush hour along Ocean Road and Selander Bridge.
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