As we approach Hip Hop appreciation week, I give thanks once again to the strange twists and turns of life, for leading me into a family and culture that continues to amaze and bless me each day. This past week I was able to attend the Breakin’ Convention’s Park Jam 2017, which took place in Islington, London. A free open-air event hosting a stage, marketplace and community space where Hip Hop culture was celebrated in all its forms.
It was a pleasure to participate for the first time in real Hip-Hop from my country of birth. Experiencing the culture in East Africa is and has been life-changing for me, but of course I am disadvantaged in not experiencing its full quality and content through language barriers. Listening to a whole range of emcee’s and artists speak of matters important to them; education, politics, life, the youth, employment.. was a pleasure and an education in itself. Most of the emcee’s (bar one act) left me uplifted and feeling stronger and proud of the culture. The one act that left me wishing they were rapping in another language, was a duo act which even through persistent warnings about their language and content at a family event, continued to disturb my ears and even made reference to ‘making a mess’ a girls mouth, which unfortunately was aimed at a 15 year old looking girl on the front row wearing a crop top. 🙁
Minus the gansta-rapper wanna-be with his caricature bandana and baggy pants, the event was superb! It really revealed to me another instance of the power of Hip-Hop in its ability to bring people together and celebrate youth voice and their unique gifts and point of view. Looking around at the audience and participants, I imagined most of these people would easily be judged or misconceived by society, and I loved the fact the culture allowed space for everyone to be united, celebrated and show love and appreciation for each other. The youth have a definitive point of view and the culture gives them a platform for their authentic voice whilst also giving many young people a purpose and family, where before they had none.
The event gave me the chance to be re-united with the wonderful Miss Baby Sol, a talented soul singer, born in the Congo, whom I hope to support her second return to the continent, to support her re-connection to her birth place through music and her talents. I thank her also for introducing me to the talented DJ Snuff, International Director of End of the Weak and social activist, who I am so happy to meet and looking forward to seeing him again at the Breakfast Jam Events in Uganda.
Certainly after a month of difficulties and countless mountains to climb with my work, it was a really blessed time to spend just enjoying and appreciating the talent and love I am surrounded by. It is by no accident the people I am meeting and opportunities that are arising. It is through pure intent, positive thinking, speaking and acting, that has afforded me the opportunity to be surrounded by things that make me feel good, challenged and make me grow.
Now I continue to work hard so that other young people can find their purpose in life, hopefully a lot sooner than it took me. Because it is in our unique purpose that gives us the strength to reach our dreams and live a productive and happy life, and that will ultimately bring people together in unity and love.