By Melinda Eversteyn
Day 3 in Kilifi was yet another exciting and action packed day filled with rehearsals, arts and craft and performance. The visual arts group took their drawings from yesterday, mounted them onto recycled cardboard and hung them on stick formations that were being prepared for a beach installation. With only 15 minutes to spare they each created a number of pom-poms and added these, giving the final sculptures more color and flow in the wind. In the end every participant was able to trace around their hand and add personal detail through decorations and these would set the frame for the beach stage. The older group of students spent the morning with Naima, brainstorming ideas for their dance and putting together the choreography.
By midday we all went down to the beach. The installation was set up, the words ‘Power Of You’ written in the sand in the style the kids practiced the day before. Everyone got on board and filled the outlines with seaweed. Once the performers arrived the remaining kids served as the audience and it was show time. First up was the girls who performed their dance to a contemporary then traditional Kenyan song. This was followed by the boys who performed acrobatics. Our very own Zach and Colin joined them which for me was great to see. After the showcase we returned to Tulia House for a well-deserved lunch that Answari had kindly cooked up. The kids all received a gift as they left, an art kit with paper. As I walked to the beach that afternoon for a late swim and went past some of the kids, they were all drawing and painting! The past 2 days they have ran up and joined me on the road, but not today. This made we smile and I am so glad they can continue to use some of the skills learnt over the past 3 days; I did not realise that would happen straight after the work shop. This is my third Outreach experience through Necessary Arts, my second time in Kenya, however my first time to Kilifi, and this has been a fabulous and unforgettable experience. The kids have challenged me, got me to think on my feet, and overall impressed me with their ideas and meaning generated through their artworks. There are defiantly future designers in this group and my hope is life will provide them with more opportunities like this where they can follow their passions and showcase their talents in the creative arts.