The song and dance of Africa will be in Logansport Sunday.
The Young Africans, a group of internationally touring singers, musicians and dancers, will be performing at Life Gate Church as a part of their North American tour. The performers, ages 19 to 22, all got their start in a renowned children’s choir whose performances raised the funds that put them through school. Now they are continuing to represent their culture as young adults with the intent of raising the funds necessary for post-secondary education.
Speaking from a tour stop in Silver Lake Tuesday, Robbie Luninze, tour director for the group, recalled being asked to join the African Children’s Choir in 1994 at the age of 8. The choir held auditions at a literacy school he attended in his native home of Uganda and his singing, drumming and dancing earned him a spot on the tour.
“It was an experience that is not easily forgotten,” Luninze said. “Touring with the African Children’s Choir was really the turning point of my life.”
He described how he and the other children went on to perform all over the world, listing off countries like Spain, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada.
While in the African Children’s Choir, audience members’ donations paid for Luninze’s and the other performers’ primary and secondary educations. Such expenses would have been impossible for Luninze’s family, he said.
“It was something I could have never dreamed of if it was not for the African Children’s Choir,” Luninze said.
After becoming adults, African Children’s Choir groups go on to perform as The Young Africans. It was through this group that Luninze was able to fund his college education, eventually earning a degree in business administration.
During a Young Africans show, the performers share cultural elements of their home countries with Stomp-inspired dance and African instruments, a press release states.
Luninze describes it as a combination of African and Western performances. In all, it’s “a lot of energy,” he said, with dancing, jumping and clapping.
“If you love to see people dancing, you don’t want to miss our performance,” he said.
The concert will be free and open to all with a freewill offering taken to support the African Children’s Choir programs, education, care and relief development programs.
Just like what was once done for Luninze, all of the funds raised will go toward post-secondary education costs for the performers.
“One hundred percent will go to helping them achieve their dreams,” Luninze said.
Music for Life, the parent organization of the African Children’s Choir and The Young Africans, works in seven African countries and has educated more than 52,000 children while impacting the lives of more than 100,000 through its relief and development programs, a press release states.
“MFL’s purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa by focusing on education,” the release goes on to state.
The event starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at Life Gate Church, 831 Burlington Ave.
Luninze, who has never been to Indiana before, said he and the group are looking forward to performing in Logansport Sunday. He called Monday evening’s flurries a pleasant surprise, adding that it has been a while since many of the members have seen snow.
“It’s filled with great, wonderful families,” Luninze said of area. “The people who have come have been so good, so giving and so generous.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him: @PharosMAK
If you go: Who: The Young Africans What: Musical and dance performances When: 7 p.m. Sunday Where: Life Gate Church, 831 Burlington Ave. No tickets, donations welcome