January 10, 2014

Culture, Inspiration

Why the Arts are the Answer to Saving Our Youth


As a native East African born in Uganda and raised in the U.S., I can decisively say that the arts laid a solid foundation for the strong sense of identity and self confidence I have developed as an adult. I remember being ashamed of my African heritage and wishing that my family was more like the Cosbys. That was, until a woman named Namu Lwanga came into my life and taught me everything she could about the song and dance of East Africa.

Namu majored in Music, Dance and Drama (known as MDD) at Makerere University in Uganda, which in and of itself made her a fearless pioneer; because at that time (and this may hold true even today) MDD was not a respected major. Instead, the acronym was jokingly renamed “Musilu Ddala Ddala”—which translated in Luganda means “Really Really Dumb Person.” Why would you take MDD as your major when everyone knows that there is no money or respect in the arts?

Continue Reading