||Kharas Youth Arts Performing Festival


After two years and four postponed dates, the first-ever ||Kharas Youth Arts Performing Festival could take place in Keetmanshoop.

Over the years, with support from Stichting Horizon, OYO has worked with four talented youth groups in the region: the Dream Team in Keetmanshoop, DAKAZA in Karasburg and the groups in Noordoewer and Koes. The festival was an opportunity to bring all groups together as well as the OYO dance troupe. Over 60 people gathered at the Multi-Purpose Youth Centre in Keetmanshoop for four exciting days.

The OYO dance troupe and director arrived on Sunday 26 September, the Dream Team (Keetmanshoop), Dakaza (Karasburg) and Noordoewer youth groups were all present on Monday by 11h00. The Koes Youth Group was delayed but arrived at 13h00. Jan and Rena from Horizon joined at 13h30.

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Monday morning the groups present go to meet each other during games. In the afternoon each group go the chance to present its work. Each group had been tasked to prepare a dance, a song and a drama on alcohol and drug abuse. Following the presentations, the director divided the groups into three:

  • Some members from the Dream Team taught their dance to some members from Koes and some OYO dancers
  • Some members from the Noordoewer Youth group taught their dance to some members from Karasburg and some OYO dancers
  • Some members from the Koes Youth group taught their song to members from all the other groups and some OYO dancers.

After that, all the groups learnt the song from the Noordoewer Youth Group. In the evening, the groups watched a DVD OYO had done with another youth group.

On Tuesday the groups put their material together and prepared a combined performance. They presented their performance in three schools in Keetmanshoop, reaching 396 people. The shows were very well received in schools. The audiences enjoyed the mix of dance, songs and drama and a variety of messages.

Besides performing together, the groups also had time to discuss effective ways of networking, keeping in touch and identifying areas of common interest. The groups found the festival inspiring. It was their first time to spend much time together, and they also valued the Dance Troupe, whom most admired, taking time to be with them. They also particularly valued the presence of Horizon’s representative. They felt it is rare for people to come and take an interest in them, and knowing Jan and Rena had come all the way from Germany lifted their spirits. At the end of the festival, the groups created a WhatsApp group to keep in touch and share what they are doing. They felt that seeing what other groups are doing would motivate them too.


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