Monday 9 January 2012

Breakdance Project In Uganda (Part 1)

12 days ago i landed in Entebbe via Doha (Qatar) then straight to Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Tropical heat between 25 & 30°C everyday, the rainy season has just passed in East Africa... Right. Where do i start ?? Mmmmh... Ok . I got invited here by the Alliance Française & Goethe Institue to work with 10 top (selected) Ugandan dancers to create a unique piece that we're showing friday @ the Sharing Centre & saturday @ the National Theatre. Joinin me to work on the show is Seb Jaekwon, a wicked German/Korean dancer & choreographer (Reckless Crew) who's more involved in the dancing part as i take care of the music process, timing , selection & sounds thru the piece. We kinda came up with a ruff idea for the story then developped it with the dancers as we all got to know eachother more. Its called Breaking Free :-)
Seb & i are stayin in Boziga (one of Kampala many districts, as the city is really spread out) and everyday we ride a Boda-Boda to start the rehearsals around 9am in N'Zambya. Its a motorcycle-taxi bascially. No helmets. No speed limits. There are no rules here road wise !!! Trust me a already had a few near death experiences :-/ haha...
Everywhere the soil is red and everything grows. Very green, the city kinda reminds me a bit of Rio hill-wise. Despite the hecticness of everyday life people are very peaceful & friendly and all the tribes cohabit around Lake Victoria in a non-conflicting way. Although we've been workin everyday i've been to a few local bar/clubs but musically it was pretty horrid. Think Rihanna meets MTV crap mixed with some reggaeton mixed with some electro-dance shit. And scarely enough it didnt seem to bother no-one, locals or expats... ! Thats where commercial global culture destroys the soul slowly by slowly, where ever you may be on Earth, in my humble opinion... In Kampala you can come out from a good restaurant or a supermarket then enter the poorest ghetto just accross the road. Its all pretty mixed up here socialwise, apart of a few neighbourhoods that have Beverly-Hills types of houses & palaces (like in Kololo where i ended up in NYE, had to cancel my SA gig due to flight distance & timing...). Street food wise its a bit like in Jamaica, chicken & goat meet on grills, Rollex (rolled omelette in a chapati) & fries or samosas (also a big indian influence somehow) or the traditonnal matoke and rice (green plantain that isnt sweet). Tilapias (from the super polluted lake) is all you find fishwise but the beef is really tasty (if your not a vegetarian). Really enjoyin every moment here still (far from the cold !!!) and the dancers involved in the project are soooooooo good !We're mixing all kinds of styles : B-Boyin, Poppin, Lockin, House, Modern, Acrobatics etc... Really excitin. The Ugandan Breakdance scene is really spread here, giving the youth an opportunity to learn the moves & contribute to its worldwide movement. Somehow i hope that our Breaking Freee piece will be able to be shown accross a few countries, whether its in Europe or Africa... See what happens... But its nice to be involved in a project of this kind as its challenging & musically i get do share my vibes & do something very different. Will keep you posted of my further adventures in Uganda but for now gotta go back to work... Best wishes to you who's reading this and stay healthy amongst everything this year... 'Til next time.


  1. Hey Simbad,

    I just arrived in Kampala myself last week and will be living here for the next three years, having spent the last five in Jamaica. I'm coming to check your show tomorrow night. Are you playing an after-party anywhere?


    1. Andy !!!!! Totally missed your post man, i hope you saw the show(s) & hope you're having an amazing time im Kampala. Full reeeeeespect ! 1

  2. Nice one! You should check out the "Bouncing Cats" documentary when you get a chance. Safe travels!

  3. Nice account from your trip bro', thanks for sharing, :^)