In early December, the Asilia Dance Group of Hembeti, Tanzania celebrated Tukaone Projects’ farm and thanked sponsors through song, drums, and dance.
Song Name: Ngoma Zetu (our drums)
Performed by: ASILIA DANCE GROUP by Ruguru Tribe residing at Hembeti, Tanzania.
Group Leader: Mr. Chui
Organized by: Johnny Mwakalinga (Tukaone Projects Manager).
HISTORY OF ASILIA DANCERS.
Asilia is a Swahili word which means traditional, so Asilia Dance group has the meaning in English as “Traditional Dance Group,” but the group name is known locally as “ASILIA DANCE GROUP – HEMBETI”).
The dance group was founded in 2013 by Mr. Chui, he is a disabled person in the video wearing a draft short sleeved shirt and standing with a help of his walking rods (see a video). Chui is a Swahili word which means a “leopard” in the English language, and he was given this name by his village friends when he was just a boy of about 17 years. One day a leopard visited a local house and everyone left running out of the house, leaving Mr. Chui alone struggling to move himself out of the house without any help, and because he was a disabled person, he could not run further! Thank God, the leopard did not spot him and it ran chasing after the other men running out of the house. He remained safe, and his friends started joking, calling him “Chui”, and gradually the name became his for life. Mr. Chui founded this dance group originally for the purpose of entertaining farmers during cultivation and harvesting time to make them recreated and help them do heavy work without feeling tired, but he also sang during ceremonial times in the village to entertain friends.
Today Mr Chui is a well known singer. He sings and dances with his traditional wooden whistle and sings for visitors and in different community projects’ awareness campaigns.
“Our local wooden Drums, is our Traditions,” Says Mr. Chui.
WORDS FROM ASILIA DANCE:
They lack special traditional clothes and shoes. They will be very thankful if they can get support to design some special dancing clothes and shoes. The group has about 15 members.