It was great shiny day with limited cloud cover at Muguluka Primary School where the zonal primary music competitions were held. Muguluka Primary School is located 200meters off the main road to Kamuli town. It’s about 27kilometers (17 miles) from Jinja town and roughly 5 kilometers from our school Butangala Lutheran Primary. The school choir arrived at the scene for the competitions at 9:15am and oh, yes, to be part of the zonal primary schools’ music competitions.
The music competitions are organized once every year within particular zones in every district in the country, and these zones are demarcated according to the geographical locations of particular schools and for this case, we were competing in Muguluka zone with 11 Schools. The winners in the particular zonal competitions represent those said zones at the district level and winner among those zones represents the district at the national level where the winner represents the country at the East African Level which as for now is the highest ranked primary schools’ music competitions in East Africa.
The HH4U local staff on arrival, found the participants from different schools inclusive of our very own Butangala Lutheran Primary School rehearsing and warming up for the day’s performances. Many activities were done including singing the western piece, traditional folk song, drummer, site singing, instrumental and dance. School after school was getting on stage to perform the same item in each category as parents, teachers, and well wisher were cheering in support for their particular schools.
The school competitions began with site singing, then western choral set piece, Poem, original composition African style traditional folk song, instrumental drummer and finally close with the dance in that order.
As one school leaves the stage, one could wonder what other schools would do; I mean every school came fully prepared. I kept asking our music teacher if we could get the first three slots looking at the size and age our young girls and boys. For sure I was scared!!!!!!!
No sooner had we waited for the last item of the day, the dance… to be present than the music invigilators called our very own team, the Butangala Lutheran Primary School to present a dance, the boys and girls went on stage with confidence amidst cheers to perform the popular kisoga dance called bakisimba. Honestly we were overwhelmed by this performance; the crowds couldn’t help shouting and cheering for the team because for sure no one expected us to have such great talent with such young boys and girls. The dance was so very well performed.
Every member of the team played their part but I can’t fail to say a one Rachael who was the smallest, shortest and the youngest of all the day’s performers and no doubt the best performer of the day. Short, small and young, but so flexible and accurate in all the dance strokes. She danced leaving every one speechless and wondering if she still has her feet attached since her knees were almost touching the ground. It was wow, wow…. she nailed it, that even the invigilators were seen shaking their heads, as the crowd and well-wishers couldn’t help but kept cheering; all of us wondered how this little girl does it. Pricilla, who is smaller and young but slightly taller than Rachael, was also a breath taking dancer who made the crowd cheer with loud shouts. They nailed it, they made us proud and recognized.
The young boys who drummed also played their part perfectly well, not forgetting the back -up singers. Ooh, how great the atmosphere was with tears of joy flowing down my checks seeing our very own young children performed their best and expressing their talent to this crowd. Who might have not been able to attain education or even explore their great gift if it wasn’t help of the Lutheran Church through Heart and Hope For Uganda to sponsor them through school. Most of these pupils come from families that are unable to send their children to school. The team was so amazing.
The dance ended in screams and jubilation from all of us in Butangala Lutheran primary school. For sure we knew we had won even before the official announcement, at least in that item and for sure we won in this category.
Shortly after the results were ready and once again we sat in the hall to hear how we had performed, first were a few remarks from the officials and some invited guests and later the chief invigilator read the results and we were surprised to have been placed in the 2nd position but of course everyone was discontented with the result as we thought we would be the first but we had to accept the results. It was great to take the 2nd position being our first appearance in the competition felt the best.
It was already past 8pm and the team was ready to leave but there was no means of transport to take them back home, remember the team had walked to the venue in the morning and after the long day and all the performances, it’s evident that the boys and girls were very tired and couldn’t walk back. We tried all we could and managed to secure a truck to bring our children back to school and where their parents and guardians picked them and took them home.
Good news later came that the school that had won was disqualified after it was found out that they used non pupils thus hired mercenaries for their school. That automatically made us the first runners up take the lead and we are set to represent the zone at the District level. God is good and all the time he is good. Our first time in the Music festival competitions Butangala Lutheran school is representing all the schools in our zone on the district level wow. It’s awesome indeed. Thanks for all the support.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.