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Arts education vital for children

2021-09-24  Aletta Shikololo

Arts education vital for children
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Afro-fusion musician, storyteller, and arts educator, Damasfusion is calling on stakeholders in the education fraternity to make an extra effort to make arts education accessible to the previously- disadvantaged communities, through funded programmes.

In a brief chat with VIBEZ! Damasfusion, who is also a renowned choreographer in the country, said many Namibian children are deprived of the opportunity to have collective art experiences in learning environments.

Art education is broadly defined as the process of teaching and learning how to create and produce visual and performing arts, and how to understand and evaluate art forms created by others.

“The Namibian child is currently going through an identity crisis. There is no children’s music and the children have no choice but to entertain themselves with adult contemporary music from neighbouring South Africa like Amapiano and House or Nigerian Afrobeat,” she said.

Throughout the years of being an arts educator, Damasfusion real name, Lydia Garises, said she has realised the need to educate people on the cruciality of arts education the impact of creative joy on learning, and the power of artistic exploration.

With 17 years experience in the arts industry, the afro-fusion musician has taught drama, choreography, choral music, and arts and craft at various schools and pre-schools in Windhoek.

Her music is a blend of jazz, Khoi chants, praise-singing, and modern elements.

In her rich and versatile repertoire, she also includes folklore and poetic short phrases in order to create colour and texture in her performances, which can easily resonate with culturally diverse Namibians.

Her work reflect on the importance of cultural identity and contemporary social issues in the country.

“My most memorable work was when I trained and staged drama pieces at the Children’s World Creche in 2004 and also choreographed, trained and prepared the grades 2-7 learners from Progress Private School in order to perform at the annual graduation ceremony from 2015-2019.”

 In an effort to contribute to the growth of the arts industry, Damasfusion is researching children’s folklore in Namibia and is hoping for its completion at the end of February 2022.

“The research will enable us to document and preserve already existing folk songs from various cultures (part 1-written document and part 2 audio recordings) but during the process, I have noticed that there is not sufficient material to work from, thus a lot needs to be done in order to acquire the needed info and material. Once it’s completed, both the audio recordings and written manual can be used for educational purposes at kindergartens and primary schools nationwide.”

She added: “The main aim and vision behind this research is to document and publish our own folklore like the one of Ghana and Spain. Amapiano music is drawing elements from South African folklore. Surely, we can do our own”.

The ‘Dana! nabe’ hitmaker also envisions the development of indigenous languages in poetry and drama. “I hope to see children expressing themselves in their mother tongue. It will instil pride and boost self-confidence in any given child,” she concluded.

-ashikololo@nepc.com.na


2021-09-24  Aletta Shikololo

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