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Give a smile to the world

WRITTEN BY: Oreoluwa George

PhotographyUganda

Kibuuka, you aim to 'give a smile to the world' through break dancing and bboying. What are your experiences with bboying and how did you get involved with the scene? 
 
At 14 I joined Breakdance Project Uganda(BPU) a grassroots, youth empowerment, Hiphop oriented non-profit organization. BPU uses breakdance and other elements of the Hiphop culture to engage and unite young people and provide them with skills and confidence to become active, socially conscious individuals. Before joining the BPU I tried a number of activities inclusive of football and they all didn't work out well because of discouragement and the competitive demands. Through bboying I was able to express and share my experiences with others. Over the time within the organization I got to learn bboying and Hiphop can be a tool of positive social change. Giving a smile to the world is a motto I adopted because dance/hiphop gave me a chance of being a better person and I want to share it with others through breaking, through drawing, through photography. 4yrs ago a friend and I started a breakdance event called Break-Fast Jam. The event features all the elements of hiphop but with the main focus on breaking and popping, For four years it has been East Africa’s prominent break dancing event featuring top dancers from across the region. 
 
Have you found any commonalities between break dancing and traditional dance styles such as Baganda, Mwaga, Irongo, Maasai? How is this 'new' urban culture perceived within these cultures with a strong sense of identity and tradition? 
 
Hiphop is built on a collection of many cultural practices, and breaking comes from the influence of Salsa, Indian African traditional dances and others. At the same time it is one of the movement open to creativity and expression hence giving freedom to its practitioners to incorporate and exhibit their feelings and backgrounds this is gives youth a strong sense of ownership. And this why I think hiphop is one the movements that spread rapidly across the globe.
 
How has social media played a role in your photography?
 
Social media has basically given me a platform to exhibit "The Africa Around Me" to a bigger audience. I've alsobeen able to connect and share ideas with fellow photographers and diverse people across the world. Marginalized societies are often prone to various social problems such as alcoholism, extreme gambling and teenage pregnancy. How does your socia l work influence your involvement with dance and vice versa? One of my mission as a photographer is giving history a visual stamp - I believe the Ugandan breaking scene has played a positively role in changing the lives of many youth - since they work on improving themselves everyday to achieve their dreams; this brings me in to tell these stories at no cost. As a bboy I have been involved in the empowerment programs of teaching dance at Juvenile prisons, National maximum prison and community organization. I initiated a visual art session in BPU as another path to reach the organizations' aims like building self-esteem, leadership skills and bridging gaps between multiple social barriers. My personal goals are giving a smile to fellow youth and sharing a platform of positive self expression and discovery through line, colors and a camera plus challenging creativity and imagination. 
 
Can you name 5 people we should know about? Abraham 'Abramz' Tekya
David Wampamba
Moshin Jjuma
Africa Bambaataa
Little Shao