The Song and Dance of a Nation
Winning Performance World Bank 2004 / 2005, Washington, DC
Written and Directed by Mkawasi Mcharo Hall
Produced by the World Bank Kenya Staff Association

Winning Performance World Bank 2004/2005, Washington DC

Kenyan professionals (teachers, accountants, lawyers, artists, doctors...)
take to the dance floor at the World Bank, Eugene Black auditorium in D.C.

It is not often that a group of Africans walk into the World Bank with an agenda to tell a story. Mostly, people go there to beg, thanks to globalization gone awry. On the 4th of November, 2004 a cast of Kenyan professionals performed Childbirth, at the World Bank's Eugene Black Auditorium in Washington D.C. It was a part of the Bank's annual cultural showcase that sees the otherwise stiff and concrete atmosphere come alive with music, dance, and drama.

The Eugene Black Auditorium was an exciting space for Balozi to continue on its mission of telling the story of Africa and upholding a people's dignity in a world that has thoroughly shortchanged them politically, economically, and culturally.

Beyond the elitist approach in implementing projects for Africa, this continent also craves to tell its own story.

The annual cultural showcase at the World Bank is a competitive process that sees the winning team from each geographical region receive the honours to perform at the grand finale at the WB's Atrium.

The Kenyan team won with their performance of Childbirth, a short story about Kenya, told in narrative form, dance, and a blend of traditional songs from different communities in Kenya. They performed again in the Spring of 2005.

click to view  ChildbirthBalozi would like to express heartfelt gratitude to Wasafiri Voices from Baltimore, a group of dynamic Kenyan cultural singers and dancers, to Anna Mwalagho, an actor, storyteller, and dancer per excellence, and to the World Bank staff led by Joseph Wambia, for producing Childbirth. Immense gratitude goes to the Kenya Embassy and political attache, Mohammed Gello, for coordinating and providing first-class transport for performers between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and most of all, for the moral support given to the project.

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