Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ugandan Children Use Art To Show Respect, Admiration For African Hero, Nelson Mandela

Gilbert Bwette / youthjournalism.org
Ugandan Meddie Sserunkuma shows his artwork honoring the late South African President Nelson Mandela.

By Gilbert Daniel Bwette
Reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda – Word spread across the African continent last Friday of the death of Nelson Mandela, Africa’s beloved son.
Sadness engulfed everyone, and it fell to me, as a leader of a group of young artists, to deliver the heartbreaking news to the children.
I spoke with the young people at Bavubuka Foundation – who are greatly talented in expressing themselves in hiphop music, poetry and art – about the hero Mandela and challenged them to use their passion to show how they felt about his death.
Gilbert Bwette / youthjournalism.org
David Kaweesa's artwork

Meddie Sserunkuma, also known as Mc Ship, gathered his other two colleagues; Vannesa Assolo also known by her performing name of Mc Flower and David Kaweesa also known as Mc Kaweesa, and decided to use art to express their feelings. 
“I got to know about the death of my hero on Friday,” Assolo said, adding that the news made her sad. He lived to be 95, but Assolo said, “I wanted him to make 100 years.”
Mandela did a lot of good, said Assolo, including ending apartheid in South Africa. She said she would create a song for young people about Mandela’s contributions.
We spent the whole evening talking about Nelson Mandela, watching his pictures on the internet and concluded the evening by lighting candles.
Bwette Gilbert / youthjournalism.org

David Kaweesa studies Nelson Mandela's 
photo as he works on his own drawing.

Gilbert Bwette / youthjournalism.org
Vannesa Assolo, David Kaweesa and Meddie Sserunkema make drawings to honor Nelson Mandela.
Together, Silas Balebyekkubo and Assolo finished a music writing session, composing a song that she said will amplify the voices of young people and help them understand the importance of celebrating African heroes.
Bwette Gilbert / youthjournalism.org
Vannesa Assolo works with  Silas Balebyekkubo to compose a song about Nelson Mandela.
Mandela’s death hurt. I felt sadness, grief and sorrow at having lost yet another great African icon, a man who sacrificed his life and endured years of hardship for his people to finally have freedom.
Mandela is greatly remembered for his stand against apartheid and the many injustices that white minority imposed on the native black people of South Africa.
He was the first South African president who stood for justice for the oppressed black demographic, the president imprisoned for more than 27 years for believing in the rights of his people.
Mandela will also be remembered for uniting the great nation of South Africa into a rainbow nation where white and black people now live harmoniously.
A source of African and global youth inspiration, Mandela has been one of the major threads that held the African continent together through all the dark tribulations it has gone through, a man whose legacy not only affected his country, but the whole world.
Mandela set a great example for other places in the world that had racial problems, teaching that people of different skin colors and cultures could live together harmoniously. 
Mandela will greatly be missed, but forever celebrated as the great African hero.

Gilbert Bwette / youthjournalism.org
David Kaweesa and Vannesa Assolo show their drawings of Nelson Mandela.

1 comment:

barefootmeds said...

Lovely - and such a good idea to let young artists express their grief in this way. Thanks for sharing.