The African Children’s Choir has been traveling the world for 30 years, raising money to help educate children in seven African countries.
During the next two weeks, the choir will sing, dance and drum at five performances in Spokane.
Ronald Ssekabira, 24, joined the choir at age 6. This year he’s a chaperone for the children as they tour the United States.
“I joined the choir, and opportunities opened up for me,” he said.
His audition tested his musical abilities and whether he could dance and perform in front of an audience. After training with the group for four months, which included English lessons, he toured the United States.
“Everyone was really nice,” he said. That year the group visited Disney World and Disneyland.
He not only serves as a chaperone, but he is a choir director, a spokesman and tutors the children in math and science, since they have to keep up with their schoolwork during their yearlong tour.
“They go back and resume their education,” he said. For Ssekabira, he went back home to Uganda and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and natural resource management.
To date, Music for Life, the parent organization for the African Children’s Choir, has educated more than 52,000 children in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
A typical performance will include African dancing, drumming and songs, as well as favorites such as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” and “Amazing Grace.”
There are two choirs on tour, right now. Ssekabira said his choir has been on tour since January and will spend the last leg of its trip in the United Kingdom.
“I hope that people from Spokane will come out for our performances,” Ssekabira said.