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ACHOLI HEART BEAT

INTRODUCTION


Is a dancing, singing, acting and performing charity organization founded by  Dr Phoebe Abe-Okwonga (Medical Practitioner in United Kingdom) in July 2003. 
The members consist of students, widows, orphans, professionals and nonprofessionals and really anyone can join if willing to participate. This was originally under Uganda Trust Association (UTA) but now an affiliate of DR ABE FOUNDATION.
(This is a non-profitable organization registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in Companies House Company number 9335401 in United Kingdom)


LOCATION

Acholi Heart Beat is found in Northern Uganda, Gulu Town on plot 95 Eden Road, Senior Quarters. Long: 32 degrees 17’ 47” and Lat: 2 degrees 47’ 14”.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

  • To revive, transmit and preserve the Acholi culture and promote life intellectual life in Acholi land
  • To sell Acholi Culture outside Uganda
  • To embrace and bring again unity among the people as they work towards peace building.
  • To promote self help project among the Acholi people thus, improving their cultural, moral and socio-economic status.
  • To join hands in the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease in Acholi land through drama, songs, sensitizations and teaching other norms.
  • To liaise with other institutions/organizations whose objects are similar to that of Acholi Heart Beat
  • To advance and promote Education and create social awareness among the people.

ADMINISTRATION

Very experienced personnel in the fields of music, dance and drama govern Acholi Heart Beat.

PATRONS:                Mr Ogwang Kilipa
DIRECTORS:             Dr Luka Abe
                                   Mrs Maliam Okello
CHAIRPERSON:        Dr Phoebe Abe-Okwonga
SECRETARY:               Miss  Jennifer Akwero
LIASON OFFICER:     Mrs Florence Lanyero Toolit
 
TELEPHONE : (00256) 775732337 - Uganda
EMAIL: contact.info.ahb@gmail.com
ADDRESS
P O BOX 1533
GULU
UGANDA. EAST AFRICA

KEY MAJOR PERFORMACES OF ACHOLI HEART BEAT SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN JULY 2003
S/N
PLACE
DATE OF PERFORMANCE
COMMENTS
1
ALOBO NIGHT CLUB-GULU
13TH SEPTEMBER 2003
SHOW TO PUBLIC
2
NATIONAL THEATRE-KAMPALA
19TH-22ND SEPTEMBER 2003
SHOW TO PUBLIC
3
KAUNDA GROUND-GULU
15TH JANUARY 2005
ENTHRONEMENT OF RWOT DAVID ONEN ACHANA II
4
GULU UNIVERSITY
31ST NOVEMBER 2005
FIRST GRADUATION CEREMONY
5
INDUSTRIAL AREA-NAIROBI KENYA
8TH-10TH DECEMBER 2005
 
6
NYAYO STADIUM-NAIROBI KENYA
12TH DECEMBER 2005
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
7
NATIONAL THEATRE-NAIROBI KENYA
13TH-15TH DECEMBER 2005
SHOW TO PUBLIC
8
LAVATON-NAIROBI KENYA
14TH DECEMBER 2005
WEDDING CEREMONY
9
SHERATON HOTEL-KAMPALA UGANDA
16TH AUGUST 2006
WEDDING CEREMONY

NB: Very many internal performances were carried out within Uganda that are not indicated above.

KEY ACTIVITIES
BWOLA DANCE
  1. This is the only royal dance of the Acholi tribe, which is performed with great respect and dignity. Bwola is the only dance on the globe where every male has a drum; small, medium or big.

  2. A group of elderly people performs it during the time of crowning the chief and then when he dies. It is also performed to entertain important personnel on big occasions.

  3. Bwola dance is performed using some costumes and props like drums, headgears, arm-lets, jingles, and the plaited skirts and the beads worn by both male and female dancers.

  4. The biggest royal drum for Bwola is highly respected .No one plays apart from the person who is entitled to and no one sits on it because if you are a man and you sit on, then you develop impotence as a result.

  5. However, it is now days performed even during the music festivals at schools and other institutions by the young ones for cultural preservation.

  6. FORMATION: This dance is mainly performed in linear and circular form.
LARAKA RAKA DANCE
  1. A BRIF HISTORICAL BACK GROUND
  2. This is one of the Acholi courtship dances. It was developed from a courtship dance called “Akel” a long time ago.

    This dance is performed by the youths who are looking for their marriage partners .It is performed from evening up to midnight in the moon light by both the girls and the boys.

  3. COSTUMES
  4. Male dancers put on plaited skirts or pairs of shorts, vests / T-shirts, beads, headgears and a well-designed metal is on the buttocks for exaggerating the movement "Odyer". Other notable costumes include; calabashes, a bunch of spokes, drums, and horns that are used to drive the dancers.

    Female dancers put on beads around their waists, jingles and plaited skirts.

    During the dance, it is the boy’s skill that attracts the female dancers to make a choice.

  5. FORMATION
  6. This dance is performed in circle, semi-circle and linear formations.

DINGI-DINGI DANCE
  1. This is one of the courtship dances, which is performed by young girls who are still very active, agile and flexible because it is a very vigorous dance that needs energy. The girls are accompanied by boys who are drummers and flute blowers in order to drive the dancers.

  2. After the performance of the dance, the youth can now begin to approach one another for love that is why it is grouped among the courtship dances. It was developed from Lara karaka dance.

  3. FORMATION
  4. This dance involves many formations such as linear, semi-circular, circular, serpentine and mass formation. It is a dance that has varied and dynamic formations.

The dance can also form letters like: A, C, H, O, L, I etc.

OTOLE DANCE
  1. This is a war dance, which is performed to train the male youths during tribal protection and instils courage in the men when going to fight and during actual fighting (Tribal conflicts that took place long ago according to Acholi History).

  2. It is a trooping dance with women as instigators. During the dance, male put on leopard skins on their back and headgears on their heads, while holding spears and shields in their hands.

AJERE DANCE
  1. This is a dance mostly for the newly married couples. The songs sung during performance are mostly love songs, showing their commitment in marriage.

The dance has varied and dynamic formations.


NANGA (ZITHER) DANCE
  1. Both women and men perform this dance for enjoyments .It is also danced at a marriage ceremony for entertaining the married couples and to revive broken marriages.

  2. Nanga (Zither) is a seven stringed African traditional musical instrument played by a man and a calabash which is brushed to keep the rhythm.

  3. COSTUMES

  4. Zither, calabash, Jingles, beads, whistle, the plaited skirts, and a modelled piece of wood inform of an axe used by men.

  5. FORMATION

  6. There are many formations that can be employed in the dance but the most common one according to the Acholi culture is linear, parallel, and rectangular with varied movements.

ATWOM OROMA WOKO

This is an Acholi traditional folk song that depicts how a wife and her husband were reconciled after a family dispute. It is sung in African traditional harmony to bring out the natural flavour.

AJULINA
  1. This is one of the Acholi’s traditional dances that involves singing and dancing while very skilful boys and girls are playing the instruments.

  2. It begins with a matching song called "Omera pe Ipar", played in ternary form and then comes,"Ajulina".

  3. Ajulina was a very beautiful girl at that time and almost every male youth in that village wanted to marry her, and because of her beautiful body, the boys were rivaling over her and they complained of sleepless nights in order to lay strategies to win her favor.

NB: It should be noted that all the above dances have different dancing techniques, formations and levels.



LIFE IN IDP CAMPS

Where most of these dancers lived and grew up!
There were similar CAMPS: IDP
(Intenally Displaced People's)
There were many hosting 2 million people. eg PABO CAMP had nearly 60,000 people!
In Northern Uganda since around 1985 till 2010!
Watch the VIDEO  on TRIBUTE to people born and bred in the CAMP:

 


ACHOLI  HEARTBEAT AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE KAMPALA