Watch: Viral African kids dance group take Dubai's Global Village by storm

Over 200 children are being provided for by Masaka Kids Africana – who command a following of over 11 million on social media – in the form of food, clothes and school fees



by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Mon 21 Nov 2022, 3:11 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Nov 2022, 10:14 PM

Shy with mischievous smiles. That is the first impression one gets of 6-year-olds Jonbosco and Mohammed and their 5-year-old friend Prince. But the minute they hit the stage at the Kids Theatre in Global Village on Sunday evening, they transformed into world class performers who danced without missing a single beat.

Meet the members of Masaka Kids Africana who command a following of over 11 million people on social media. Performing in Global Village on the occasion of International Children’s Day, the trio are in the UAE for the very first time in their lives. “Dubai is very nice, I like it,” said Mohammed, speaking to Khaleej Times. A big fan of cars and bikes, he has found many attractive vehicles on the roads of Dubai. “I want to buy a Ferrari when I grow up,” he said.

When asked who he thought would win the World Cup, football lover Prince said he hoped it would be his favourite team Manchester United. “No, Manchester United doesn’t play in the World Cup,” Jonbosco said, correcting him. “I hope Brazil wins.”

The children hail from the tiny village of Masaka in Uganda, and have been wowing the world with their impeccable dance moves. “There is a reason we chose to reach out to the world with dance,” said Suuna Hassan, the CEO and Director of Masaka Kids Africana. “Music and dance are languages that break barriers. No matter what your background is, you can always enjoy people performing a good dance to a nice foot-tapping number. It is universal and the best way to send a message. If you look at our videos on social media, you will understand the message we are trying to convey.”

Changing lives

Masaka Kids Africana was founded in 2013 by Hassan. Having lived a big part of his life on the streets, Hassan wanted to ensure a better future for the children of his village. “In Uganda, there are so many children on the streets,” he said. “I know every evil that happens to kids on the street. I didn’t want anyone else going through that horror.”

Today there are over 25 children dancing regularly as part of the group. Over 200 children are being provided for, in the form of food, clothes and school fees, as part of their community outreach program, in various neighbouring villages. “This initiative has really changed the lives of these children,” he said. “They are going to school and getting a good education. They are well fed and happy. That is a huge achievement for us.”

However, he is very strict about the kids concentrating on their studies. “We don’t rehearse or practice much on their school days,” he said. “It is important that they focus on their studies. Most of the rehearsal and video shoot is done on weekends when they are free.”

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