Ongoma Workshop – Everyone is Welcome

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The Ongoma drumming circle has shifted to every Tuesday evening at the Tower Bar in the Old Breweries (above Nucleus Gym) between 20h00 and 22h00. Entrance free; drums available, it was announced in a press statement. The Old Breweries in the heart of Windhoek has over the past few years established itself as a hub for both cultural and tourism activities. While the already well positioned Craft Centre and other tourism vendors on the property have created a welcome respite from the capital’s busy street culture and can only be congratulated on their success, none of the complex’s numerous entertainment venues offer a “hands-on” experience of grass-roots, African culture. Ongoma Workshop, with its established track record of traditional African drumming for both corporate and private clients, is well placed to provide exactly such an experience. Ongoma Workshop (Ongoma: Oshiwambo – “the drum”) is a six-piece A Capella group, which started out in Swakopmund early in 2004. The group specialises in traditional African, interactive drumming workshops and presents these as part of team-building seminars for corporate and private clients. Ongoma Workshop also performs an extensive repertoire of African standards – both traditional and modern, which form part of their regular drumming circle programme at the Tower Bar, every Tuesday between 20h00 and 22h00. Since its inception in 2004, Ongoma Workshop has travelled to many corners of the country, performing for both corporate and private functions, facilitating interactive drumming workshops and conducting drum circles in Swakopmund. Since June 2005 increasingly more demand has come from Windhoek-based clients and the group aims to establish a permanent base in the capital, while still maintaining its presence at the coast. Due to its growing popularity, the regular drumming circle will now be held on Tuesday evenings at the Tower of Music bar in the Old Breweries Complex in Tal Street between 20h00 and 22h00. Everybody is welcome and no previous drumming experience is needed. Entrance is free and bar facilities are available. Genuine Djembe Drums are available for hire at N$20 per session, and experienced Ongoma core drummers are present to facilitate and teach newcomers the basic rhythms that are so characteristic for Africa. As part of the Old Breweries’ selection of tourism and cultural activities Ongoma Workshop is well placed to offer a unique African experience to both local shoppers and overseas visitors. With its established track record of two years Ongoma Workshop is able to conduct genuine African style drumming circles where both local Namibians and international tourists have the opportunity to participate. This can also be viewed in the broader context of establishing mainstream Namibian culture as a marketable commodity, where the facility would be able to foster a broad based participation by Namibian musicians and cultural exponents. For more Information about the full range of services offered by Ongoma Workshop, please contact the coordinator: cell: 081 127 0880 or e-mail: ongoma@iway.na

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