Students from Good Shepherd Primary School were able to experience elements of African culture first hand as they celebrated Black History Month under the theme ‘Africa In Me’.
The students thoroughly enjoyed performances from the Haynesville Youth Club who taught a selection of students how to play the drums.
The highlight of this morning’s proceedings was the demonstration by the Haynesville Youth Club’s Mother Sally who engaged with five students from Reception, Infants B and Class 1 showing them various dances which they mimicked. The students cheered and clapped as they watched their peers dance with Mother Sally.
Students from the Junior Mabalozi Club performed pieces representing the theme. The students were treated to a power point presentation from Kiami Rae-Orford, a dance from Raine Olton and Cesca Fergusson and a poem from Zarah Diange.
Junior Mabalozi Facilitator Balozi Shernell Reid said the club which was established two years ago seeks to teach students about their African heritage.
“We started small with a group of eight students and now we have 12. We would have launched in 2017 and we had an official ceremony at the school and the students and I were recognized as the Junior Mabalozi Club for Good Shepherd Primary,” she said.
Reid added that the programme also helps students who may be taunted for their lighter complexion to love themselves and see themselves as beautiful black children.
“We have children within the club whose complexion is not the norm as they are higher brown skinned and those children, in themselves, do need the support to know that they too are black and beautiful. One particular child is mixed as she has an English dad and then her mom is Barbadian so even though her complexion is mixed, she is still black. She had to deal with that challenge, and she felt like she did not belong as students were calling her ‘white’,” she said.
Acting Principal of Good Shepherd Primary School Wilma McClean expounded on Reid’s sentiments telling Barbados TODAY the club also helps to ensure that students with a lighter complexion understand that they are also of African descent.
“They have realized that even though their complexion might be a different colour, they have the African background and African heritage to rely on in their lives. We do not look at colour here; we are all Africans and we are all Barbadians and we share in the culture of Africa and Barbados by extension,” McClean said.
The acting principal of the Fitts Village institution said the idea to celebrate African Awareness for the entire week culminating on Friday, March 1, is to ensure that the student body understands their heritage. The students will wear their African garments on Thursday and engage in activities centred around the theme Africa in Me.