When I received an invite to go watch a group of girls drum, I was like, what is so special about that mate? I was so skeptical on attending this event that I had to ask my good friend Ian, if at all sacrificing my friday night reading session to go listen to drums being beaten is worth.
Ok, I was convinced that this group is unique and they are currently touring the world for a noble course. Sounds they have an agenda, I lamented and agreed with my inner heart that sure thing let’s give it a try. Just a try! What’s the name of this group we are sacrificing our night for anyway Ian? I asked. “Bloco Malagacy”, Ian replied. “Say what”? I asked again.
I would now start getting educated and informed on the group’s agenda and mission. The Bloco Malagasy is an Afro-Brazilian percussion group composed of 200 girls from disadvantaged families.The group is originally from Madagascar, an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometers off the coast of East Africa. Previously known as the Malagasy Republic, my guess comes right that the group’s name is basically drafted from the country’s name.
The Bloco Malagasy group came to existence in 2018 being formed by Madagascar’s center of Art and Music,an institution that advocates for girls social inclusion and avoidance of early pregnancies.
The group is in Kenya from March 2nd to 23rd in cultural exchange program. They will be visiting Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Kwale and Mombasa to share not only their music but also messages about gender equality and child protection in honor of the 30th anniversary of the convention of the rights of the child.
The word “bloco” in Brazil means “association” or “group” that plays at carnivals I later learnt. At least a new word a day keeps the Kizungu vibe afloat. The Bel Avenir an NGO in Madagascar have been instrumental in providing programs aimed at improving public education, cultural developments, health, sustainable developments and agriculture. Being the leader in championing for gender equality in Madagascar, they identified this group of young girls to be part of the program that champions for women rights by providing training and education to the community. They do this through activities and workshops held in local educational centers and at community event.
Their performance in Kwale County scheduled for 13th -18th of March was my pick. We attended their show on the 15th March at the Porini Amphitheater at Baobab Beach Resort and Spa. Watching the girls integrates rhythms from Brazil, Europe and Madagascar to create a unique and artistic experience of international quality was truly heartwarming and magical.
My official photographer bwana Andras Porffy images will knock you off your perch.Watch!!