40th Anniversaries of BTS and TDT: A Celebration – November 2015

Date : 8th November 2015

Venue : The Warehouse, Reading

Sunday 8th November 2015. Thanks to the wonderful support of a small group of local Tanzanians living in Reading, ‘The Warehouse’ venue was transformed from its usual ‘sports hall’ activity into a colourful and celebratory venue with hanging Tanzanian flags and traditional colours, multi coloured balloons on tables and a ‘ top decorated table,’ all reminiscent of a typical Tanzanian celebration where guests are made to feel very special and welcomed, so familiar to those of us who visit Tanzania. The celebrations gathered pace as the afternoon moved on with a small workshop for children and not so young people who enjoyed drums and shakers with well known Tanzanian musician Freddy Macha and his two fellow musicians, Saidi Kanda and Fab Moses, who also entertained everyone during the evening with songs, acrobatic dancing and great musical humour. Just to ensure that everyone’s drumming skills were up to African standards local drum workshop facilitator Andy Fowler involved everyone during the evening programme in a very different but an equally entertaining drum workshop where we were all taken through word rhythms and drum playing techniques to produce some multi rhythmic and entertaining drum performances with increasing complexity, and fun shared entertainment for all. Tanzanian food prepared locally was greatly enjoyed. In short speeches the two Chairs of BTS and TDT, William Fulton and Julian Marcus, paid tribute to the highly successful 40 years of shared activities, promotion of friendship and support between Tanzania and the UK, which both organisations have successfully run in conjunction with many friends in Tanzania. There was also a magnificent photographic display and running power point presentation by Julian highlighting the work of TDT over 4 decades. Throughout the afternoon and evening the children seemed to have boundless energy in enjoying not only the drumming and dancing but also the bouncy castle in a small adjoining hall and one or two older members were spotted eyeing up this younger entertainment with not just a little envy although photographs failed to capture any actually being invited by the children to join them! Enormous thanks go to the local diaspora who put so much effort on behalf of BTS and TDT into arranging the evening, to the visiting guest performers and those selling Tanzanian artefacts and to Ann Marcus for her familiar and very successful sale of cards, bags and table mats made by girls at the Safe House in Mugumu, Mara Region, to raise funds for TDT projects. Although numbers attending from BTS membership and other local Tanzanians were not as many as were hoped for, all those present thoroughly enjoyed this very different celebration of our two organisations which for 40 years have done so much to support friendship and support for Tanzania.

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