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Proud Africans

This year's Cultural Day focused on art, culture, and employment.
The DANA team
The DANA team: The designers and models of Design A New Africa (DANA).

Streamers crackle around the assembly hall like fireworks; it is teeming with rain, but no one seems to notice. Today is the tenth annual Cultural Day at Smith Secondary Campus.In front of the stage sits the entirety of Smith Campus, swaying to the beat of Tanzanian bongo flava music, blaring from speakers. 

The theme for this year is art, culture and employment. 

Two Form 4 students, Semu and Jessica, take the stage: “say, ‘I’m African and I’m proud!'” they project to the crowd.

“I’m African and I’m proud!” the audience responds.

“Our art and cuture is an opportunity for employment,” says Semu. “It is now our chance to use it.”

Traditional dance
Traditional dance: Students performing a traditional African dance.

Throughout the day, hundreds of students will take the stage performing traditional dances, dramatic stage plays (ngonjera), fashion shows, and showcasing artwork.

Backstage stands Faith, who is the leader of a group called Wakereketwa (which ironically means ‘bored’ in Kiswahili). They will soon be performing a family-based ngonjera featuring a story local to her east African coastal origins.

African pride
African pride: One of many students who put a lot of work into their face paint.

“This is the day where Tanzanians express their feelings,” says Faith, who is dressed in an ankle-length dress splashed with a bright palette of colours, and topped with a ‘kilemba’ (Kiswahili for headwear) carefully wrapped around her head. 

As the morning transitions into the afternoon, everyone’s attention turns to the much-anticipated fashion show.

“It feels so good to be a part of it,” says Agnes, a Form 6 student who is modelling for a group called Design a New Africa (DANA). “Everyone always waits for the fashion show.”

Three-peat: Elay and Gift reacting to being announced as 2019 winners of the Fashion Show.
Three-peat: Elay and Gift reacting to being announced as 2019 winners of the Fashion Show.

Pandemonium ensues, Elay and Gift hug each other and rush onto the stage to accept their award; the crowd are on their feet and whooping.

“If you want to show your talent,” says Elay. “You need to take the chances the school provides.”

The rain has now eased off, and the celebration continues. Help St Jude’s support students to achieve their dreams of tomorrow by sponsoring a student today.

To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.
 

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.