[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Hero Section” _builder_version=”3.3.1″ use_background_color_gradient=”on” background_color_gradient_start=”#000000″ background_color_gradient_end=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” background_color_gradient_direction=”120deg” background_color_gradient_overlays_image=”on” background_image=”https://afrotwist.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2017/10/DSC_4338-228.jpg” custom_padding=”10%||10%|” next_background_color=”#ffffff”][et_pb_row admin_label=”Hero Area” _builder_version=”3.3.1″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Title” background_layout=”dark” _builder_version=”3.3.1″ header_font=”Poppins|600|||||||” header_font_size=”60px” header_font_size_phone=”40px” header_font_size_last_edited=”on|phone” header_line_height=”1.2em” animation_style=”fade”]

AfroTwist Movement

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Using dance and art to empower disadvantaged communities in Zambia

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About Our Organization

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Afrotwist was founded in early 2015 by the Lusaka-based dancer Jophael Banda. The idea of this initiative is to offer a creative space for children living in compounds in and around Lusaka to take part in dance classes and performances. Having grown up in Chipata, one of Lusaka’s largest compounds, Jophael has experienced the transformative power of dance first-hand. Life in the compound does not offer many perspectives to children. Most families are trapped in a cycle of poverty that has been passed on from generation to generation. While a lack of means and an unequal education system are contributing factors, this “poverty trap” also stems from a lack of exposure to different ideas, ways of living, and a lack of ambition.

It was a salsa class that first exposed Jophael to a world outside of his own. Having immediately developed a passion for the dance form, Jophael soon became the best student in his class. Due to his dedication and discipline, he earned the trust of his teacher, who finally nominated him as his replacement in 2010. This opportunity was life-changing for Jophael and his family. Besides offering Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba classes with his team SalsAfrica, Jophael is currently one of Zambia’s best and most recognized dancers, performing and instructing classes around the globe. His success has allowed him to support his family and finance his siblings’ education. While Jophael is working on enhancing Zambia’s standing in the international dancing scene, he is also determined to make a lasting change in his community. In March 2015 he started teaching children in Bauleni compound. Thrilled by the unexpected opportunity to learn different dancing styles together with their friends, more and more children gathered where they knew they would find Jophael on Sunday afternoons. He knew then, that he had passed to these kids the same passion that had inspired him to change his own life. He decided to extend the classes from the Bauleni compound to the Chainda compound, and, in doing so, he sparked the attention of local organizations and volunteers. Thus, the Afrotwist initiative was born.

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Why Afrotwist Project

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The organisation was started in 2015 by Jophael Banda the former King of Salsa 2011 finalist. Jophael developed a passion for dance at the age of 7 and over the years made dance a major part of his career. In 2011 Jophael entered the national Latin competition in Zambia and was later that year crowned the “King of Salsa”. Since attaining the crown, Jophael has since developed his career on the international stage performing in many other countries and events like Finland, Sweden, Estonia, South Africa and UAE. Jophael also teaches different style of dance ranging from African, Latin, hip hop and contemporary afro fusion. 2015, Jophael decided to form Afrotwist with the aim of helping young people use dance to excel in education. Art was then incorporated creating a hybrid model

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Afrotwist is a non governmental organisation in Zambia working with disadvantaged communities by using dance and art as a tool to identity key areas of need, mainly;

  • Education
  • Children at risk
  • And health

Afrotwist works with children between the ages of 4 and16.

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Afrotwist uses dance and art to attract young people in the disadvantaged communities they operate like Bauleni compound, South East of of the capital Lusaka and Chainda compound North of the capital. Families in these communities live on less than $3 a day. These areas have high mortality rates and also with significant number of children at risk.

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Zambia like most African countries, dance is a way people express their emotions. Dance is often the most common tool that Zambian societies use to foster harmony. Dance is often the ice breaker.
Afrotwist uses dance to attract young people. Once the young people join the Afrotwist classes, Afrotwist then uses dance and art to identify needs like: Education-Afrotwist provides education sponsorships for children that come from families that cannot afford to pay for education. Children at risk-identifying children at risk of abuse or abused and linking them to support organisations or services. Health such as HIV AIDS, preventing teenage pregnancy and promoting nutrition.

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Afrotwist cooperates with local organizations such as Appleseed Community Center in the Bauleni compound. In the past, we have worked with vendors such as Trade Kings. We have also worked with performing art organizations such as Barefeet. In addition, we have collaborated with volunteers and dancers from Zambia and abroad. Danay Bustamante, an internationally recognized Salsa dancer from Cuba, performed for the children in Bauleni in November 2016. We also work with Zoca Dance Zambia.

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Media Gallery

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Connect with Afrotwist

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Read the Blog

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Stay up to date with Afrotwist

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Afrotwisters

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Using dance and art to empower disadvantaged communities in Zambia

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