After waking up early on a Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago and putting the finishing touches on my AIDS rap, the community group headed over to Shimoni Primary School for the World AIDS Day celebration. As we walked towards the school, the town bustled with people from all around the area, who were flocking to raise awareness for this disease. We moved desks around and prepared for the event, and still more busses and matatus pulled up, pouring hundreds of people into the sandy courtyard.
|Spending time in preparations.
Starting only a few hours late (Kenyan Time, Kenn punctuality), the festivities began with swahili poems, melodic songs, and musical performances all about AIDS awareness and prevention. One women’s group came up in front of the crowd and performed a simple chanting dance, and within little time, many had jumped out of their seat and joined in this simple line dance. Not to be out done, a couple of us Mzungu’s also joined in the spirit of the fun. At least for me, the word ‘attempted’ best describes my efforts to copy their simple dance. Following this captivating performance, our AIDS rap had a tough act to follow. To provide a little back story, about a week ago Gill (a marine staff member) and I volunteered to put on a brief rap at this world AIDS day gathering. During a short spurt of motivation, I wrote about 26 lines of poetry talking about prevention and fighting the spread of AIDS. With a little practise and the last minute formation of a beat, we were begrudging ready to go up on stage and disgrace ourselves. That wasn’t exactly how the rap went down, and the crowd received the musical attempt with thunderous applause. Well, maybe not thunderous, but we got our fair share of fistbumps and thumbs-ups from the spectating Kenyans.
Setting the goal for the year at zero new infections, the AIDS day proved to be a huge success and it most definitely spread knowledge and concern for Aids. After this long day in the sun, we treated ourselves to a nice lunch at Smugglers.
Text: an anonymous rapper