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Entertainment of Thursday, 17 August 2006

Source: GNA

Programme to use dance and music to create awareness on HIV/AIDS

Accra, Aug. 17, GNA 96 A collaborative initiative to use dance and music to create public awareness on the effects of the HIV/AIDS menace and environmental health and cleanliness through the arts has begun in Accra.

The Nkabom Africa Music and Dance Ensemble of Ghana are collaborating with the Djole Music and Dance Company of the United States of America to use the arts to draw public interest on the effects of especially AIDS in the various communities.

At one of their public shows in Accra on Wednesday, the 21 member cultural youth group from South Carolina of USA and members of the Nkabom Group enthralled the public to various performances depicting HIV/AIDS and its effects, especially on the youth.

Mr Samuel Nkrumah Yeboah, Founder and Leader of the Nkabom Group, who is a craftsman and performing artist, said it was the aim of the two groups to use music and dance to create public awareness on the effects of AIDS in the various communities.

He said the two Groups had already taken similar concerts to Kumasi and Cape Coast and at the Arts Centre in Accra and intended to extend it to other communities and regions.

Mr Yeboah said the Nkabom Group intended to develop an Arts Centre for the training of the youth, street children and the unemployed as well as those in the schools and colleges to create the needed awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Dr Cynthia Swenson, Medical Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and leader of the Djole Dance Company, said the group came along with 21 children to work in concert with Nkabom on AIDS prevention through the use of African cultural practices and dances. She said the group intended to make use of the experience of the cultural practices so as to replicate it in the USA to emphasise on African dance and drama.

The Djole Group joined the children of the Street Academy in various dances and later donated used clothing, toys, disinfectants and toys to the children.

Mr Ataa Lartey, Director of the Street Academy, commended the dance groups for the donation, and said since the Academy was involved with providing the street children with non-formal education as well as engaging them in cultural and sporting activities they would develop their own dance and music to create awareness on HIV/AIDS.