23 April 2012

An Afternoon to Remember: The Flyover Show in Soweto

A couple of weekends ago, I was able to attend the Flyover Show in Soweto with Karen and Martina {thanks to Karen snagging me a ticket!}.  We were looking forward to enjoying all of the performances that morning, but Karen is especially involved with the Kliptown Youth Programme, and since some of their boys  were starring in the opening number we were really excited to cheer them on and show our support.  It was my first time seeing them in action and I was particularly curious to see what all the hype was about {I had already heard so many great things about them!}.

The stage was so impressive!

These boys have come to be known as the KYP Gumboot Dancers and have been invited to tour all over the world performing this unique, energetic, and explosive type of South African dancing.  While it was different to anything I've ever seen before {the boys wear rain boots and use them as a dynamic drum/accessory throughout their performance} the best comparison I can give is that it was like an African rendition of River Dance... sounds a bit strange, but it was a pretty awesome thing to witness.

The KYP Gumboot Boys :)

The boys performance was incredible and it was so evident that they poured their complete heart and soul into each and every step.  The crowd went absolutely wild and cheered them the whole way through, with some of the children in the audience even attempting to repeat some of the steps themselves.  Watching this for the first time I found myself fighting back tears in the best sort of way.  Not only because these boys were so talented and impressive to watch, but also because I was struck by what great role models they were being for all of the other children watching them.  

Soweto is an extremely poor township in South Africa, with instances of crime, drug abuse, unemployment, HIV/Aids and rape being exceptionally high.  Without the finances to attend good schools and often times without the influence of a positive home environment, many children find themselves engaging in these negative behaviors from a very young age. I guess you could say that it has turned into somewhat of a vicious cycle.


As I stood and watched these boys from Kliptown {which is one of the poorest suburbs in Soweto - see my original blog post here} using their talents in such a positive way, it was evident that they were taking a huge step towards breaking the destructive cycle that has been present for so long.  I felt so proud of them for proactively choosing a better path for their lives even amongst all of their difficulties and hardships and I felt an overwhelmingly urge to thank them for doing something so important for their community.

It was a such an all around wonderful and uplifting experience.

We were blessed with the most gorgeous weather that day!

After the Gumboot boys had finished their routine, we hung around and enjoyed some of the other performances before the DJ came on and announced an intermission of sorts.  During the break, these two members of the crowd broke out their own stereo and started battling in the main square.  They quickly attracted a little audience for themselves!


All in all it was another wonderful afternoon with the ex-pat gang and one that I will always remember fondly.  I left feeling uplifted, hopeful, and optimistic for South Africa's future, which is a feeling that I think all people living in South Africa need to be reminded of from time to time.

Living here, it becomes so difficult to not get caught up in all of the scary statistics, exaggerated stories, and  political issues, and days like this serve as an important reminder that things are getting better and that we are on the right track towards a positive and integrated future :)

10 comments:

  1. This sounds like an amazing experience! Thank you so much for posting about it Jenna! It was really interesting :)

    And welcome back to the blogging world :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is beautiful! When I see people doing great things and changing their own lives for the better, I feel better! Even if it's just through a story on your blog, it affects me profoundly!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Following over from Trail Mix today, and I could spend some serious time here.

    Off to follow you on twitter (@TinaLaneBlogs) and Pinterest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fun photos! Looks like a fun event!

    xx
    Giovanna
    www.oliveandanarrow.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. that seriously looks like so much fun! JEALOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How awesome! I would love to see them perform. And the sky...wow!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. ummm this is incredible, as well as the nike video andddddd that dang chandelier in the post below! i can't get over it, i love it so much! y'all are so cute :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. you do something amazing like every weekend! this is so neat. and I love your pics - do you have a fancy camera? they're always so colorful....or maybe that's just south africa ;)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! I love reading each and every one of them :)