|Feeling the groove. ALL PHOTOS Nely Tiez & Kabuye Derrick|
Kampala, Uganda | LOUIS JADWONG | German DJ Sarah Farina and Producer Yo van Lenz are amazed at the local talent they have found in Kampala.
They have resolved to create bridges between German Djs and Ugandan ones, and to assist grow talent, and also offer support in acquiring modern equipment.
Farina and Lenz starred at the climax of the Mirembe Rhythm concert, dance party and workshop last weekend. They are on a Sub- Saharan African tour.
“I loved the concert and was amazed by all the talented DJs. At the workshop, all the girls were super interested in the productions, which was cool and made me happy. I love sharing knowledge, therefore when it’s well received it’s even more fun. It was nice warm energy and good vibes," said Berlin based music producer Yo Van Lenz.
Farina was also excited. “We are very grateful that we have the opportunity to be here and connect with something that we love, which is music, and so playing the show with the Ugandan DJs was very nice. We discovered some really talented DJs and we have connected with them already," she said.
|Dj Farina from Germany shows how it is done on computer.|
|Producer Yo Van Lenz (right) conducting the music production class|
"Being a DJ here, it can be hard to get equipment, so we are happy if we can make connections for those people who are interested so that they can get all the stuff they need in order to become the person they want to be."
Goethe-Zentrum Kampala (GZK), aka the Ugandan German Cultural Society, hosted
DJ Farina and Producer Lenz. In partnership with Ugandan DJ Rachael’s Femme Electronic, GZK organized a workshop for young women in Uganda to learn about DJing and music production, and also put up the Mirembe Rhythm DJ dance party on 12th October at The Square in Kampala’s industrial area.
The Mirembe Rhythm concert and dance party was headlined by the Germans alongside Kampala’s crème de la crème of electronic, dancehall and hiphop music: DJ Rachael, DJ Ciza, The Control Posse, Hakuna Kulala and Catu Diosis.
The Square put on a show as Uganda’s celebrated set designer Mirembe Musisi created an Afroparty themed interactive play space for Kampala revellers. The décor used natural materials to make woven light fixtures and other unique designs that made the party feel especially unique.
The event kicked off as early as 6pm with board games from Creative Minds, a drum circle by Ngoma Jam Session and some face painting by Marjorie. Gloria Kiconco, the event MC, officially welcomed the first DJ on the lineup at 9pm – and the music played late into the night with a diverse and freedom-loving crowd enjoying themselves into the morning hours.
The next day, Goethe Zentrum Kampala held a panel discussion about women in the Electronic Dance Music in Uganda, and then on Sunday offered a free DJing workshop for Ugandan women.
Farina revealed that they had made music with some artists.
"At the workshop, it was very touching for me especially to have the opportunity to empower other females with DJing and music production skills. It’s just healing and such a valuable experience to create something together and to share knowledge."
GZK says trip great boost for Ugandan women Djs
GZK’s new Director, Barbara Sommer, said of the aim of the event: “ Given that one of the German DJs was female, and connecting to the established relationship between GZK and Femme Electronic and DJ Rachael, we decided to give especially women the opportunity to learn more about DJing in a workshop."
"The creative atmosphere in this special workshop gave women in Uganda who want to be DJs a platform to connect to each other and create a network of mutual support. Sarah Farina and DJ Rachael, the two female workshop instructors, acted in this context as role models for the participants and shared their knowledge with the future DJs.”
Barbara went on to speak of what she felt was achieved in the line up of events.
“After having enjoyed a great party at The Square on Friday, October 12th, with fascinating DJs from Uganda and the two DJs from Berlin from dawn to sunrise, the good vibes of Mirembe Rhythm still continued the whole weekend manifesting themselves in the interesting panel discussion on Saturday and the creative workshop on Sunday."
"At the panel discussion with the female DJ from Berlin, DJ Rachael and The Cee, views were exchanged about female DJing in Uganda, electronic music in Uganda and why each of them became a DJ and what visions they have for the future.”
Shaniqua Packruhn, another member of the organizing team at Goethe-Zentrum Kampala, added: “At the German-Ugandan Cultural Society, we see it as our mission to promote inter-cultural exchange and support creative processes. In the course of this, Mirembe Rhythm was an excellent opportunity to offer young women a platform for creative exchange and to build sustainable networks."
She said the DJ/ Music Production Workshop as well as the panel discussion‚ ‘Pushing Boundaries - Women in the electronic Music business‚’ turned out to be a great success regarding our goal to empower young artists and strengthen creative dynamics.
"DJ Rachael, Sarah Farina and Yo Van Lenz provided our workshop participants with their broad knowledge about DJing and Music Production and created a space for them to learn from each other and grow. After the workshop, everybody was excited to stay in touch and build on what they’ve taken away from the day.”
Dj Rachael - This is a first of its kind
Dj Rachael, one of Kampala’s most prominent DJs and proprietor of Femme Electronic (which partnered with GZK to put the events together), was delighted by the success of the dance party, panel discussion and the ladies’ DJing and music production workshop.
“This was the first of its kind. I think it was a great party that brought together different cultures, from Germany, Uganda, Kenya and Congo. Everyone had a good vibe and the party was really great," she said.
"The Femme Electronic workshop with Sarah Farina and Yo van Lenz and myself at GZK was amazing: the turn up was good, and the reception from the girls that attended was really cool as they were all very willing to learn and go the distance. I’m sure they will elevate Femme Electronic to another level. We shall continue training them and create a new era of female DJs.”
These events were part of an annual cultural exchange, as each year GZK hosts German touring artists in Uganda for performances, workshops and collaborations with Ugandan artists. In 2017, it was “Your Music, Your Voice.” In 2018, “Mirembe Rhythm.” Follow Goethe-Zentrum Kampala on social media as not to miss what comes in 2019!