Monday, February 11, 2013

Leaving The City And Discovering Sipi Falls; So Much Beauty In The Ugandan Countryside

Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
A scene in the Eastern Ugandan countryside where the Sabiny tribe lives in traditional mud homes.
  By Bwette Daniel Gilbert
Reporter
KAPCHORWA, Uganda – I traveled recently to Eastern Uganda with Balabyekkubo Stansilas, a legendary hip hop artist. A pioneer of the luga flow music movement in Uganda, he uses the stage name Babaluku.
Luga  flow is indigenous Ugandan hip hop music. It was created by the hip hop group called Bataka Squad, together with a crew of creative young men who are passionate about hip hop culture and who use media to make the culture relevant in the community.
Luga flow allows youth to express themselves in the indigenous languages through rap music.
Bwette Daniel Gilbert /youthjournalism.org

Hip hop artist Balabyekkubo Stansilas sits with children in a rural village in Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda. 
Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
The mountainous Kapchorwa region in Eastern Uganda is near the border with Kenya.
We traveled east from the city of Kampala to a place called Mbale, where we spent the night and woke up very early in the morning to continue our journey to Kapchorwa to visit Sipi Falls.
On the way, we saw traditional thatched roof homes made of mud and water inhabited by people of the Sabiny tribe. The huts typically have earthen floors that are sometimes smeared with cow dung for beauty, because it adds a finish and color, and to chase away mosquitoes.
The houses have roofs of hatch grass, which are replaced as needed in cases of heavy rain, old age or for ceremonial purposes, such as a wedding or the birth of a child. These homes can last five to 10 years. 

Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
One of the many waterfalls at Sipi Falls, which is part of Mt. Elgon in Uganda.
You will be amazed by what you miss when you spend all your time in town and don’t bother to visit such incredible places like these.
While there, we got to interact with the local people to understand their culture. 

Stansilas, who is part of the group Bataka Squad - a music ensemble that introduced hip hop culture to Uganda - spoke of the importance of young people getting to know their culture. He said that a culture is a great heritage and treasure and urged young people to share their culture with others around the world.

Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
Hip hop artist Balabyekkubo Stansilas visiting the countryside.
Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
Scovia Chelangat lives in the Kapchorwa district of Eastern Uganda

Bwette Daniel Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
Some of the residents of Eastern Uganda are four-legged ones.

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