African Arts Workshop

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Workshops were held in Namibia on African Traditional Instruments and Dance Practices in Windhoek (COTA) and at the Eenhana multi-purpose centre. Four facilitators from the Centre for Indigenous Music and Dance Practices (CIIMDA) facilitated the workshops in cooperation with the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED). The facilitators from CIIMDA are Ms Cherie Vermaak, Ms Emily Maduma, Mr O’Dyke Nzewi and Mr Shipo Sebesho. CIIMDA, established in 2004, with funding from Rikskonserte through the Norwegian Foreign Office, was initially fostered by PASMAE. Its mission is to provide African indigenous cultural consciousness and content for the classroom musical arts education of African learners in Africa – SADC countries. According to Calvin Martin, Education Officer for Arts Subjects at NIED, this initiative can enhance the arts curriculum in Namibia. The Ministry of Education is fully supporting this initiative through the auspices of NIED. Participants that attended the workshops numbered 120. The Oruaano Artist Union of Namibia welcomed this initiative because teachers and learners are exposed to traditional musical instruments and dance practices and arts education is being promoted. A number of drums were donated to some schools in the north and COTA. More outreach programs are in the pipeline to emphasise the importance of traditional instruments and dance practices amongst our communities. Another workshop will be conducted in Swakopmund in August to strengthen this initiative and to get more teachers and learners involved. Workshops are also scheduled for 2007 and 2008 to involve all the education regions in Namibia.