On July 10th 2010 I had the pleasure of hosting a coffee house, along with the other interns and directors at the World Youth Alliance house. When the day began, I was nervous as to how the event would turn out as this was the first such event hosted by WYA Africa. The disc jockey, doubling as the sound technician, arrived early in the morning to set up his equipment. Once that was done, we simply had to prepare the refreshments, organize the house as well as the stage, and wait for both the performers and audience to arrive. The performers started arriving about 1 hour before the event was to begin, with audience members trickling in slowly। By the proposed start-time, most of the performers had arrived and were ready to go; however, the audience members-who were less than those of us hosting the event-did not look encouraging. We decided to push back the start. In the meantime, the dj, with his impressive skills, entertained those that were present as well as attracted the interest of passers-by causing the wall at the back of our compound to be spotted with curious faces. These unexpected visitors stayed with us through the performances once the show began. At 4pm, with all the performers present, and a substantial audience present, we began the show। We had a variety of performers, from singers to dancers and poets to comedians। The dancers, a group of young children from Mukuru, were the definite stars of the show. Their enthusiastic presentation of a traditional number as well as a poem, through which they compared the ‘old’ days to our modern times, enthralled and entertained the audience. A group of three young men provided the comic relief for the show through a skit and a narrative. The audience was also given an opportunity to spontaneously participate, as open-mic segments were imbedded within the flow of performances. At the show’s end, the dj played some more tunes as performers, audience members, and WYA staff mingled and got to know one another.
This WYA coffee house was called Art Dignified, the theme being to promote the dignity of the human person through different art forms. Art has a way of captivating those that experience it thus there was no better way to present the message of human dignity than in the creative form of art. On the other hand, we see more and more frequently that art, especially music and dance, is used to promote messages of violence, materialism, and overt sexuality. Having the performers use music and dance to promote dignity was a refreshing experience for the audience and the WYA hosts. The event was a success, made all the more so by two prominent members of the WYA community; Mr. Oscar Beauttah, an international board member, and Esther Kanyi a previous director of operations. Foyo Juma Intern