As you may have read previously the ROP boys are pretty nimble when it comes to things of a dancing, acrobatic or capoeira nature. Give them some music or even just a bit of free-time, and they will be dancing, flipping and rolling around the ROP centre. For a time, we had a professional capoeira teacher coming in once a week to teach the kids, but that has unfortunately ground to a halt. Besides these now abandoned lessons, the boys have had very little instruction on how to perform the amazing tricks they do, and we’ve always been a bit puzzled at where they picked it up. Other than the radio, Rwanda TV and the odd film, they don’t have too much access to the outside world. But they certainly have picked up some phenomenal skills from somewhere.
You can see photos of some of their impressive acrobatic moves here, and a video of their serious dance moves here.
We had heard about a team called the Future Vision Acrobats some time ago and had been interested to learn more. They are a large group of children and young people in the north west of Rwanda on Lake Kivu who have banded together to form an acrobatic troupe. They have partnered with Clowns Without Borders in Sweden, among others. They help vulnerable young people, including former street kids and orphans, training them up in new skills and giving them a chance to perform. They are a truly amazing group of people, run by the wonderful Elisee Niyonsenga. Many of them now make a living performing around Rwanda.
Watching our children fearlessly flip and jump off an abandoned tyre recently we decided we should get the Future Vision Acrobats (previously known as the Gisenyi Acrobats) down to the ROP to show our kids how they do things and perhaps teach them some new tricks. The acrobat team make a living from performing and asked if we could pay a fee. When we explained we could only pay a fraction of the fee because we are such a small organisation, they happily agreed to make the six-hour round trip anyway, with barely more than their transport costs covered. These are generous and big-hearted people who genuinely love spreading joy through their performances. We can’t recommend them highly enough and if you are in Rwanda you should definitely check them out! Not only are they incredibly talented performers but they could use your help.
Last Sunday 10 of the group made the round trip to Kigali, the youngest being just eight-years-old. They put on an incredible performance for the ROP including human pyramids, juggling, tricks, flips and an amazing human bicycle. Check out some of the photos to see how amazingly talented these guys are! The youngest two members were particularly impressive – gamely jumping to the top of a human pyramid with expert deftness and no fear.
Then the ROP boys stepped up and the capoeira team put on a great performance for our guests, showing them some of their best moves.
Finally our visitors plucked some eager participants from the crowd and showed them how to do some simple tricks.
The ROP was buzzing with energy after the visit and the boys were buoyed by the experience, bursting with happiness, laughter and enthusiasm to put what they had seen into practice. And there’s nothing better than seeing those things in our boys. We want to thank the Future Vision Acrobats for their wonderful performance and for their big heartedness towards our kids. We hope we can persuade them to come back and visit us soon!