Navigating the narrow dark alleyways of the Kianda area of Kibera as an alien is nigh on impossible without a local guide and some form of security. Informal settlements are just that, land space is at a premium and planning is a luxury. The rough and often steep alleyways double up as refuse repositories and foul drainage, punctuated with rocks enacting a comical acrobatic sashay perambulation by the visitor with the inevitable alarming miss-hap.
It is therefore all the more remarkable that deep within these catacombs nestles an oasis of creativity and respite. Several shacks have been connected to form a dance school of impressive proportions. James and his dedicated team provide quality training to the children of Kianda in dance and art regardless of ability or age. A lively African drummed showcase of stunning proportions followed, demonstrating a dedication and commitment that was truly breath-taking and worthy of the larger stage.
Carefully weaved into their work are clear social messages of education and hope that are Kibera relevant, heart wrenching and sometimes brutal. The love and care is evident and all encompassing, the volunteer’s dedication and commitment are palpable.
Kibera is never predictable and James is of course is a graduate from a Nairobi ballet school.