Blogginlägg om kenya

No, nobody needs permission to have fun!

We just finished a great performance tour for our partner in Kenya, Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiH EA). The show itself has been rolled out in two weeks, comprising of two shows per day, and sometimes more than an hour travel between destinations. This team of clowns is very special, I must say. We have two Swedish clowns called Josefin and Malin (aka Apple), one every-crazy Spanish clown called Claudio, two fantastic Kenyan clowns from Sarakasi called Irene and Mukasa, and of course those of us from CWBSA, Annabel Morgan (aka Banana) and myself, Nicholas Mamba (aka King’ang’i). The driving force behind the team was Samantha Holdworth, our artistic director, who has been omnipresent throughout the tour, either physically or by her very thoughtful notes even in her absence.

Our day normally starts with us in the van/combi travelling to the performance venue. Mukasa (what a talented soul) will normally take his guitar and start playing a song. Somewhere in the middle, the song will turn out to be about the whole team of clowns! He will sing about anything from what we had for breakfast, to the actual performance content. The whole vehicle becomes a safe space for the clown to be happy, creative and to have that emotional massage! Before every performance the clowns gather to brainstorm the best way to perform that particular show, and there is a certain clown that will ALWAYS visit the loo!!!

The performance is top notch, with a wide variety of themes: acrobatics, cooperation, domestic situations, parenting, dance. Our performance grows everyday, because that is what our director encourages us to do. Our audience, which primarily consists of the young mothers that HiH EA work with, children, elders and motorbike drivers, crack up with laughter when Apple appears as a policewoman to arrest the female Matatu driver, Irene! Mukasa provides the soundtrack of the performance as a Matatu conductor, while Banana stuns the audience as she runs away from trouble, hiding herself under anything - even the hat of a man in the audience! They get the best side of clown dance from Claudio and King’ang’i, while Josefin cries like a baby in one scene, only to become a tough guy/girl in the acrobatic scenes!

The audience has really enjoyed the shows. This experience has reminded me that fun is fun.  We all have the ability to create and enjoy fun. Come closer to the clown! There is no need for one to seek permission to have joy!

23 June 2014, Nicholas Mamba

/Nicholas Mamba


Resan till Kenya gick jättebra, allt gick som planerat. Vi blev hämtade på flygplatsen och körda till Sarakasi dome i Nairobi. Där träffade vi de andra i teamet från Sydafrika, Kenya och England. Under fyra intensiva dagar skapade vi en helt ny föreställning.

Kenya är fullt av intryck, marknader som ploppar upp överallt, ojämna vägar och vi i en skumpande minibuss, leende ansikten som hälsar glatt och lekfullhet och skratt bland oss clowner. Första föreställningen var i Tala, för unga mödrar och deras barn, men andra människor i byn dök också upp med nyfikna ögon. Vi hade väldigt roligt när vi gjorde föreställningen och det blev fina möten mellan oss artister och publiken. Det slutade med att alla dansade och sjöng tillsammans. En fin kommentar vi fick efter showen var: det finns ett ord på tre bokstäver som beskriver showen: WOW!!! 

/Malin Öhrn

Löftet om en röd näsa

Från att ha utbildat hela Hand in Hands personalstyrka i interaktiva och kreativa metoder för att stärka de unga mödrarna i projektet kommer vi framöver att göra tre turnér för att sprida hopp och skratt till mammorna, barnen och deras lokala samhällen. Turnéerna blir också ett sätt att locka fler unga mammor till att bli en del av projektet, så att vi kan skapa en god ekvation: utbildning + självkänsla + delaktighet + hälsa + egen försörjning, för ännu fler kvinnor och deras barn!

Sibusiso Khambule, artist från Clowner utan Gränser Sydafrika, skriver här om sin upplevelse av Mammaekvationens första turné i Kenya.

“After our intense two days of rehearsal, we had our first show which was well received. For our second show we set up in an open field, where people watched from a distance but didn’t approach. When the music started playing, children were the first to approach but keeping their distance and really wondering, “Who are these people who set up a tent and attached a rope to a van and a tree?” Then we appeared and danced to the lovely music, smoothing our way towards the children. Once we got their little teeth and big smiles out in the open, we introduced ourselves and charmed them to sit in the grass.

The idea was to let the children sit, get them laughing from our clowning improvisation before the show so that the older people would slowly approach in wonderment. I saw a group of children standing in isolation, so I used my funny clown moves to entice them. I had to explain in English since I can’t speak Kiswahili that there will be a show that is going to start soon if they can come closer to see… they all smiled but didn’t really respond. I didn’t know whether they didn’t understand English or merely wondered why I was speaking English with them instead of their language.

After several attempts trying to explain myself, I found myself thoughtlessly saying, “Come see our show! I will give you all presents!” They all enthusiastically followed me of course. What I learned long time ago in this kind of occasion is that you should never promise something you don’t have, or something you cannot give to everyone, because they hold you to that. And they did!

After the show, we all had a lot of fun dancing in a circle with the young mothers and children. Then they thanked us for coming and told us that they enjoyed every moment of the show. Now when I was getting into the van, a young boy stopped me. “You said you will give us presents!” There was nowhere to hide, and I knew I needed to keep my promise. I reached for my bag, where I knew had a spare red nose.  Without letting anyone know, I gave him the red nose and told him to keep it secret from the others. He thanked me, and with a smile, ran off as fast as he could.

I would have been in a lot of trouble if they all came to me for what I promised them.  At least I kept my promise to that young boy… and learnt my lesson for next time!”  

/Sibusiso Khambule