Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Pupils from ten schools in Freetown were treated to a wealth of inspiration during a two-day workshop covering visual arts, creative arts, drama, and music. The workshop was meticulously organized by the Ballanta Academy of Music at their Liverpool Street Secretariat in Freetown on October 20th and 21st, 2023. It was made possible through funding from the African Caribbean Pacific Parliament and the European Union Cultural Fund for West Africa under the project titled “Remembering our Legends.”
The workshop aimed to expose school pupils to renowned artworks from around the world. This event brought together experienced artists who shared their expertise with the young participants.
One of the tutors, Hawa Bangura, a visual artist, expressed joy in imparting her knowledge, gained over the years, to the children. Bangura conducted numerous creativity exercises with the students, encouraging them to think outside the box. She emphasized the importance of fostering creative thinking and the ability to transform ideas into tangible creations.
Emma Sesay, a student at the Thomas Peters Municipal School, aspires to be an artist. She conveyed her love for creativity and the desire to produce beautiful works like the art pieces showcased during the training.
Tutor Bangura recognized the talent in these young minds and encouraged them to nurture their innate abilities.
Jaiah Kemokai, the Project Coordinator for “Remembering our Legends,” informed Awoko Newspaper that the workshop was part of a series designed for primary and secondary school students. He explained that the program focuses on commemorating past legends while bringing in contemporary artists who have made significant contributions to visual and creative arts. These artists serve as inspiration for the children and share their knowledge.
The main objective of this two-day workshop is to ignite the children’s interest, tap into their talents, and cultivate a passion for the arts while dispelling any misconceptions that it is a challenging or taboo subject. Kemokai hopes to see these kids develop a love for arts, which may lead them to choose it as a field of study at the university.
Dorsi F. Kamara, an SSS 2 student at the Annie Walsh Memorial School, initially aimed to become a lawyer. However, the motivation she gained from this two-day session has inspired her to consider pursuing the arts, alongside her law studies at the university.
The Academy has also established arts clubs in schools, demonstrating their commitment to nurturing the artistic talents of both pupils and teachers. Kemokai encouraged parents to recognize and support their children’s talents. He disclosed that the project’s coverage would extend to schools across the country, starting with those in the Western Area Urban district. SKS/23/10/2023