Thirteen children from the Boys & Girls Club of South Africa (BGCSA) went on a Marimba tour in the United Kingdom (UK) with Education Africa last month and returned home with a world of knowledge and experience.
The trip, sponsored by Education Africa, went on for a period of two weeks and entailed a range of activities which included teaching and interacting with other children at Lambrook Preparatory School in Berkshire.
“We taught the other children how to play the marimba, it wasn’t easy because they found it really hard to find their rhythm but it was nice interacting with other children from a different background,” said Viwe Nungu (12), member of BGCSA.
Education Africa selected the thirteen children to go on the UK tour at the Steelpan music festival where they were performing.
“We were trained to play marimba and teach the children and in 2016 we started teaching the children how to play marimba from scratch so they have done really well in a short space of time,” said Puseletso Ramashoai, music teacher at BGCSA.
Not only did the children educate their peers but they also got an opportunity to sightsee, “we went on the London Eye and we saw Big Ben,” a marimba player who went on the tour, Kabelo Raliengoane (11), said.
It was a period of many firsts for the children as it happened to be their first time on a flight and in an international country.
“I really enjoyed the flight, it was really bumpy but nice. The landing was a bit scary but it was a nice experience,” said Lindelwa Sibeko (12), BGCSA member who also went on the UK tour.
This experience, according to the children, was life-changing. They now want more for themselves than they did before and they are more motivated than ever to reach their goals.
“After visiting the UK, I want to study medicine at Oxford University in London, it was a great experience that really motivated me,” Sibeko added.
Training for the children began even before the trip according to Ramashoai.
“Supervising the kids was easy because we started training them from the moment we found out about the trip, they behaved really well and they also played marimba well,” Ramashoai continued.
They also got an opportunity to entertain the English with their marimba skills.
“We played marimba for guests at the Four Seasons Hotel on our last night, it was really exciting and a different experience,” said Sibeko continued.