SCENES shines the spotlight on young people around the world who are breaking down barriers and creating change. The character-driven shorts will inspire and amaze as these young changemakers tell their remarkable stories.
Dance is a universal language; he inspires people of all ages and walks of life. The power of dance can bring love and encouragement to communities, creating a better and more vibrant world.
Triple Ghetto Kids
TGK is a dance group and NGO based in Kampala, Uganda. Kavuma Dauda founded it with the sole mission of providing housing, health care, food and education to underprivileged children.
“The mission is to improve lives through dance. That’s our goal. We help underprivileged children, orphans and street children. We use dance to improve their lives,” Kavuma told Scenes. “When you dance, you forget you haven’t eaten. When you dance, you forget you lost someone. You forget everything. You focus on dancing,” he says.
Kavuma uses dance to encourage children to have fun, but her main goal is to provide them with an education so that they have a better future. A stranger funded his education when he was a young boy and couldn’t afford to go to school. He swore to himself that if he was ever able to help others, he would, as a sign of gratitude to his stranger.
Kavuma’s own story could be that of any of the children he mentors. His father died when he was very young and his family struggled to make ends meet. They couldn’t afford school fees, so he spent his time playing football on the streets. It was then that a school football coach noticed Kavuma playing on the streets and offered him a chance for a better life.
“He told me that if I gave you a chance, would you go back to school? I said, yes, that’s what I really want. So from that day on, I promised myself that when I grow up, at least I will help a child out of it,” Kavuma says.
Create the chance of another life
Many of the children in the dance group identify with trauma and poverty. Nabakooza Patricia, a member of the Triplets Ghetto Kids, has five siblings, and her parents couldn’t afford to send them all to school. Siblings took turns attending classes and often missed school for long periods when money was tight.
“Before, we liked school. But we didn’t have the possibility to stay in school anymore because we didn’t have school fees,” explains Patricia.
Now 18 and a senior in high school, TGK has changed Patricia’s life. As a dance teacher, Kavuma noticed that she was often absent, he called her to find out why. When he learned of her financial situation, he asked her a question.
“Patricia, do you like school?”
“Yes,” she answered.
The next day, he introduced her to Triplet Ghetto Kids. He told Patricia that if she stayed in the group, her tuition, clothing, and food would all be taken care of. Her end of the bargain was to keep dancing. Patricia never looked back.
From the streets to the world stage
Triplets Ghetto Kids did more than give these kids a platform and an education; it helped them become international stars. The group filmed their dance videos and uploaded them to YouTube. In 2013, one of those videos, their dance cover of Eddy Kenzo’s song Sytia Loss, was trending on YouTube and social media.
“While working on this video, we had no idea it was going to go viral because at the time, we didn’t know what the word viral meant,” says Ronald Santiago, 20, a member of Triplet Ghetto Kids. .
From then on, they became an international sensation. They appeared on an American talk show and were interviewed by host Jimmy Fallon. They also performed with singer French Montana and traveled the world.
TGK told Scenes that being part of a family is one of the best things about being in a band. They see Kavuma as a father figure, a mentor – and the band members as their siblings and confidants.
“Kavuma saved me from the difficult time I was going through. And not just me, but everyone in the triplets ghetto kids. It was a father who raised us,” says Patricia.
“The children of Triplet Ghetto are a family for me. Because I grew up with them”, adds Nyangoma Rucia, member of Triplet Ghetto Kids.
Triplet Ghetto Kids has inspired millions in Uganda and is taking the world by storm. They intend to use their notoriety and recognition for the greater good. Their goal is to carry on Kavuma’s legacy by helping others in the community who are in need. The future for these children looks brighter than ever.