2 July 2017

Uganda: Ghetto Kids - From Slums to the World

Photo: French Montana/Instagram
French Montana covers Vibe Magazine alongside talented Ugandan Ghetto Kids.

On Sunday night, a group of children wowed the audience at the Black Entertainment Television awards (BET) in Los Angeles, California performing 'Unforgettable' alongside US rapper French Montana.

These were the Triplets Ghetto kids from Uganda who have for some time now been a sensation in the music industry with their versatile dancing skills.

The group is currently on a tour of the US where they were invited by the rapper who recorded a video earlier this year with them in Kampala.

From humble street lives the children who are between six and 17 are now touring the world leaving behind a story of its kind.

They are Ashley 6, Kokode17, Nyangoma 9, Patricia 12, Ada 13, Fred 14, Ronnie 15, Man King 13, and Isaac 15.

The group was put together in 2007 by a former teacher Kavuma Dauda aka Ticha Manager who now doubles as their manager.

According to Kavuma he had been thinking of ways how to help the many children that were loitering around the streets when they were supposed to be in school and finally in 2007 he decided would have to start somewhere.

"When I completed my teaching course, I found a school and the headmaster agreed with me that every child I bring from the streets who starts school will not have to pay school fees," he says.

He says that all the children that form up this group come from the slums of Uganda and this has been part of their inspiration.

"I also come from the same place. The place we live in, the Ghetto, is where our families live, that is where our energies came from. That is where our very first fans came from. That is where we still see a lot of potential, if only people there can be given opportunities," says Kavuma.

He adds: We have our roots in the slums, and that we would like to keep. Anyone is allowed to interpret that in their own way - and that is perfectly fine - but we have no regrets about telling a story about this place where you find poor people who have great potential and always wake up hoping someone will listen to them.

He says that life in the slums has different degrees of suffering. "Among the poor people in the slums, there will be some who are a little better than the others, so living in this kind of environment gives us a wide window of themes to pick from," says Kavuma.

From the beginning he believed that every child if given a chance, can do just as well as those living in the posh suburbs, or even better.

"It does not matter how people look at it, we have gone through the lessons that the ghetto has taught us, we have chosen the good ones and the rest is history. There is good and bad everywhere you go, the choices one makes are what can make the big difference," he says.

But how did Kavuma scout this hugely talented group of children?

"I first recruited Alex, and if you watch some of Eddy Kenzo's videos, Alex was featured but not very prominently. Later I discovered Fred and Isaac, then Alex invited Ada."

We briefly rehearsed the Sitya Loss dance with these 4 boys and later I noticed Patricia as having some talent though we did not rehearse with her at all. On the day we were to shoot Sitya Loss video, she was passing by so I invited her to take part."

The group kicked of their journey in performing arts with a video performance of Eddy kenzo's Sitya Loss which went viral.

And the rest is now history.

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