The saying is true that you learn something new every day.
Yesterday I had the honor to learn many new things in a space of three hours. I visited a HipHop project in Namasuba, called Bavubuka Dynasty. The Bavubuka Dynasty believes that connecting youth with music and the arts can transform lives and unify diverse communities.
The first thing I learnt is that HipHop means Helping Individual People Help Other People – and that is the model this project uses. They work with young leaders especially from slum communities and they teach them a new way of living and giving back to community – and they do this through HipHop, among other things.
Through training and mentorship of these young leaders, Bavubuka Dynasty teaches them to get a deep appreciation of themselves and their talents. Each young person that I met yesterday introduced themselves by stating their name, where they come from, and then they spoke about their purpose in life and the values by which they live. I was totally blown away! I am not sure that there are many young people, let alone older people, who, off the bat, can state their life purpose and the values that drive them.
These young people had great purpose statements – one young person said his purpose is igniting passion, spreading love and reconnecting his generation to their infinite roots. His particular passion is helping young people be proud of who they are through stories of their ancestors, in that way, he also helps young people learn about their history. A young lady who is living with HIV/AIDs is spreading the message of hope and love through an organization she founded, called Guiding Hope. She and her teammates speak to young people about their sexual and reproductive health. A young Mukiga man talked about raising young entrepreneurs with a difference and one of the concepts they use is the BANTU tribe. BANTU here stands for: Brothers Alliance Navigating Towards Unity. He spoke of a proverb that loosely translated means when you are standing on sand, remember that your under your feet are more than a million grains of sand. They teach young people to look at what’s beneath them – which is their land, and how not to despise that which their feet stand on. They teach them that before selling a piece of land to buy a boda boda to ride in the city, they should think instead of utilizing the resource on which they stand.
Another young man spoke about his passion for graffiti and for expression and voice through that art form. He teaches young people to express themselves through graffiti and their concept is MONK 256. M is for motivation, o is for observation, n is nor nag (never give up, keep asking, keep searching) and k is for kindness (they are intentional about infusing the work they do with kindness), and 256 is Uganda’s area code, and they use it because they work in Uganda. Another young man is a fashion designer and he believes that through his fashion he is nurturing possibilities, and every time he sets out to create a new design, he wants each piece to tell a story – an African story. His work has already graced a runway in Vancouver, Canada. His label is Kas Wear. Another young lady is a break dancer and she uses dance to teach young girls self-love, self-belief and self-confidence.
One of the major things the young people are taught through the work of Bavubuka Dynasty, is to be rooted from the ground up, to understand that they are each unique and they have special gifts and talents that are for sharing and spreading for the benefit of their communities. They are taught to be builders of themselves and of the lives around them, they are taught to ignite and instigate something new and different in their society, and not wait around for hand outs. They are taught to document the work they do, as part of documenting history. They are taught to be influencers and world changers, starting with themselves those around them. They are taught to focus more on legacy than on money.
It was beautiful and energizing being in that space, being in a place where there is no sense of entitlement – ‘Government Must’, or ‘We Want’, but instead, speaking to young people who have a sense of purpose, who speak with passion, who call themselves young CEOs and billionaires in the making. It was amazing.
These guys are conquering mountains in many ways – mountains of poverty, mountains of mis-education, mountains of mental slavery, mountains of circumstances, mountains of business as usual. They are creating something new. They firmly believe that creation connects us to the divine, because God is the Creator, and every time we create, we are connecting to the image of the Creator in us. They spoke a lot about and believe in the power of their creative capital.
I was honored to be in the presence of such inspirational individuals. I was honored to sit and drink at the fountain of the collective knowledge of these young people and their leader. I came away thinking – if these young people can do it, then no mountain is impossible to climb.