By Kay Cowley A week-long event of creative activities was dedicated to children from the ages of 6 to 13 years of age living with disabilities, at the Namibia National Arts Gallery last week. Interactive activities involved clowns, music and singing, dancing, theatre, two-dimensional and three-dimensional art activities, wall-painting and museum visits. Children had the opportunity to create with, and learn from, Namibian musicians such as Jackson Wahengo, the lead guitarist from The Mighty Dreads, Deon Loots (mezzo-soprano opera singer), Romulus Pieterse (rhythmic guitarist) and Joseph from The Formula Band. Artists from JMAC and the College for the Arts assisted with artistic activities involving paint and play dough. The children worked together with the artists towards the public presentation on World Aids Day itself. The Aids Awareness art collection of the Legal Assistance Centre, in the NAGN foyer, showcasing graphic prints by international artists, provided visual inspiration for the children. Ella Shihepo, Director Special Programmes, MOHSS conducted the official opening. The final programme also involved the performance of the national anthem and “We are the World”. Playwright Petrus Haksteen contributed towards the performance of a drama piece entitled “The Aids Hunters”, as well as the following poems: “Aids the Enemy of Life” and “Aids Kills”. A World Health Organization booklet was distributed by Dr Desta. The children were encouraged to share this information with their families, and especially those who are illiterate. Viewing of the artworks by the public and families also took place. Abner Xoagub, Chief Directorate of Health and Social Services, gave the closing and vote of thanks together with the curator of NAGN. Acknowledgement and thanks go to the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Global Fund Programme and Ibis: Education for development for creating this programme for the children. The week-long event filled the gallery with the sounds of children laughing, playing, and singing anthems, prayers, songs and Christmas carols. *Kay Cowley is the senior curator at the NAGN.
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