Ghetto Classics is the flagship programme of the Art of Music Foundation established in 2007. It is a community initiative that involves over 500 children in Korogocho, one of Kenya’s biggest slums, plus many more in 10 satellite areas around Nairobi, Kiambu and Mombasa. Through the discipline of studying music, the children learn many life skills and are also given other income generating opportunities and social assistance, which in turn benefit their families and the community.
The success of the Foundation to date has been very reliant on goodwill and volunteers. The BBT Communities grant will fund a professional training programme in collaboration with established musicians and teachers to not only further improve the standard and quantity of music lessons it can offer, but also develop performance opportunities and international relationships.
My journey with Ghetto Classics for the past five years has been awesome where I have learnt good life values like patience, and humility. I have learnt to play and love the violin and I am growing every day. The most vibrant and fascinating moments at Ghetto Classics that stands out for me include performing at the Brave Festival in Warsaw, Poland working with very experienced and professional musicians where I have honed my skills. I have also enjoyed performing at various local platforms including the Safaricom Jazz Festival and Ghetto Classics events.
Gibson Wanyoike, student
I know that there are other people or children like me who do not have a voice, but I hope to teach them to speak through their music and spread the love of music to others.
Photographs by Rich Allela