Invisible Kids Goma: Dancing For a Brighter Future

Updated: Apr 24

Through our collaborations we have come across numerous dancers using dance to make a positive social impact in their communities. From Rwanda to Congo, dancers are using dance as a mechanism to inspire hope and develop discipline and confidence with marginalized children.


Two groups we have come across that are using dance in this profound way are:1) invisible_grew_goma243 (from Congo) and 2) @afrowarriors_squad (from Rwanda) Both are founded by dancers who wanted to make a difference in their communities .


Invisible Crew (@invisible_grew_goma243) is a group created by Bush Sebar (@bush_sebar_dancer) in Goma, DRC. (Democratic Republic of Congo) The group represents the Invisible Kids Academy, co-founded by Bush. The Academy founded in 2017, is aptly name. Bush tells us that homeless and orphaned children are invisible to the government of Congo because they provide no support for these children. The children are left to defend for themselves and survive by any means possible. Bush saw that dance could be used as a tool to create positive change for vulnerable children in Goma. He started the academy with the help of friends. They organized housing for the children and took on the responsibility of caring for the children and training them in dance. The academy consists of a total of twelve children ranging from 6-12 years old. They specialize in Afro Fusion dance, utilizing AfroHouse, Kuduro, N’bombolo, Naija and Ghana street dances as well as Congolese traditional dances.


Bush sees dance as having a positive impact in the lives of the children he is caretaking. Through training and competing, the children develop a sense of community and responsibility, and build self confidence. Most importantly dance allows the children to dream and to believe in a better and brighter future for themselves. The Academy lives by the motto “we don’t have much, but the little we have, we share”. It is a motto they truly exemplify, especially given the challenges of financially supporting the Academy. Funding is always a challenge for the Academy. Dance (winning competitions) is the main source of income for the Academy.


We caught up with Bush to learn more about him and the Invisible Kids Academy; See blow


AFROCONEX:

Bush, you are 19 years old, and you are the caretaker of 12 orphan and homeless children. By American standards this is a very young age to take on such big responsibilities. Can you help us to understand, how did you determine you wanted to take on the responsibility of caring for these children ?


BUSH:

Really, it is not simple at my age to take care of these young children, but I don't do it all by myself. We are a crew. I'm the cofounder and choreographer, but we each help out to take care of these kids . With the little we earn from dance we do our best to take care of the dance academy.


AFROCONEX:

How were the 12 children selected ? We know some are orphans and some were homeless.


BUSH:

We have a dance camp that we organize during the holidays called KIVU FUTURES DANCE CAMP. This camp calls on all children. They come for camp, and after the camp finishes, we always select 2 or 3 vulnerable kids to become part of Invisible Kids Academy. Some kids we meet them in the streets, we talk with them and tell them about dancing. When we see that they are interested, we search for their families to determine how we can start them in the Academy.


AFROCONEX:

Given that you are financially responsible for the care taking of these 12 children, what are some of the challenges you face in supporting the children ??


BUSH:

The challenge is having consistent financial support. Currently I search for financial support. I search for invitations to shows, festivals, and to dance competitions. I contact people of my knowledge and some people show interest and help a little. I also have my own work (tailor-- creating styles in African fabrics) I earn a little money and use it to help in the care taking.


AFROCONEX:

We know that the main source of income to support the children is through dance competitions and battles, how can people support your initiative if they are interested ?


BUSH:

Those who are close to us can visit us at our lodge (place of living), people who are far from us can send support via World Remit or Western Union. If it's materials or clothes they can use DHL. If they want to visit they can by traveling to Democratic Republic of Congo; we are in the city of Goma.


AFROCONEX:

So tell us a little about yourself Bush. Were you born and raised in Goma ? And when did you start dancing ?


BUSH:

I was born in Rwanda, but raised in Congo; Goma. Both of my parents are Congolese, from Nord Kivu Province. From my childhood I was very found of dance, that's what my parents tell me. But I started dancing in 2014 when I was going on high school. Around 2017 I developed more in dance and started the children's dance academy.


AFROCONEX:

Did you have any formal dance training or did you teach yourself how to dance ? When you started dancing what style of dance did you start with ?


BUSH:

When I started I didn't have any kind of formal dance training. I started with my creativity, and dancing what I saw on video clips on TV. In 2017 I started with workshops and taking classes in dance camps focused on African Dances styles.

When I started dancing I started with Ndombolo.


AFROCONEX:

Give us an idea about dance in Goma. What is the popular style of dance most young people are doing ? Where do young people go to dance ? And how do they learn the latest dance trends ?


BUSH:

In Goma many dancers are in Hip hop (Breaking and Crumping) some dancers are in Traditional dance. To dance, dancers go to battles, festivals, and to some simple shows because there are no big event for dancers here. Here dancers learn from work shops, their personal creativity and from the Internet; there are no official dance schools here.


AFROCONEX:

We know Congo is known for N’dombolo dance, is N’dombolo popular in Goma and are you a good N’dombolo dancer as well ?


BUSH:

Ndombolo is an urban dance in Congo, so yes it is very popular. In Congo we say that as soon as a baby is born that he is able to dance Ndombolo. I started Dancing Ndombolo since 2014 till now. I take classes and I go to work shops . I participated in competitions of Ndombolo and made it to the final or semi final round, although I didn't win. I teach my group about Ndombolo dance in Night clubs. I am still learning more about the history of Ndombolo Dance. So, yes I think I'm good in Ndombolo.


AFROCONEX:

We see that use a lot of Afrohouse music and dance moves, is there a reason why you are drawn to this style ?


BUSH:

We chose to dance Afro fusion, just mixing different African Urban styles. We use AfroHouse music to get a good rhythm. We mix Ndombolo, little moves of Kuduro ,afro house and little moves of Pantsula . We also use different socials dances from Ghana and Nigeria.


AFROCONEX:

Finally Bush, what are your personal dance dreams; What would you like to do/accomplish with Dance ? And what would like to accomplish with the invisible Crew ?


BUSH:

My Dreams in Dance is to become someone who will be a leader for the community. To become a good person to my family. To create platforms that help young people in dance and to help underprivileged children. To become teacher in dance. I would like to create dance centers in different African countries that help underprivileged children; the youth in general. My Dream is to do great things in the world. With the Invisible crew, I hope that helping these children will make them develop themselves in the future so that they can help their families and also help the community.


 


 


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