As most young people continue to degenerate into aped social behavior from the west, some churches in Kiambu have been using dances to grasp the attention of youths and keep them away from drugs.
PEFA Church, based in Ndumberi and Word of Faith Church based in Kiambu town are just but a few examples of the churches engaging members in the entrenchment of the young generation in a bid to curb drug abuse which is an excruciating mishap within this area.
In PEFA Church, Ndumberi, James Ng’ang’a coaches more than 10 youths in dancing for a living which takes place every Saturday at the Church Hall in the afternoon.
According to Mr. Ng’ang’a, the initiative plans were conceived by the Youth Chairman of the Church, Florence Mwangi.
“Our Youth Chairman kept on encouraging us, as youths, to look for something we can do, so that we can be in a position to utilize our leisure time in a constructive way,” She kept on insisting that “the activity can play a big role in attracting none-members to our church. Therefore, as they come for participation of the initiated activity, we could now be able to build them spiritually and distance them from criminal behaviors outside there,” Mr. Ng’ang’a recalled while talking to KNA during last Saturday’s session.
After the frequent persistence by the youth leader Ng’ang’a decided to come up with a dance group entitled made from dance, where he could use the platform to train other youths who have interest on the same.
Initially, Ng’ang’a worshiped at Word of Faith Church, Kiambu and every time he made a dance presentation at the Sanctuary members of the Congregation used to encourage him to do it as a talent owing to his mastery of the activity and captivating message he could put across.
This made him believe that dance was his best talent, and he therefore started working on its perfection.
The dance group participated in a local dance competition which was held in April this year where it was named as the second runners up, however, Ndung’u said that time management by members is one of the challenges the team is facing since every member has other obligations to meet apart from the dance.
He is therefore, pleading with youths from the area to join the team for a better tomorrow. Ndung’u said that their dream is to participate in regional and international competitions that will market the group so that they can start generating income which can be used to fund some more lucrative initiatives.
Contacted by KNA last week, the Senior Pastor of the PEFA Church, Ndumberi, Jamleck Ng’ang’a confessed that he was ready to employ a competent dance trainer who will be coaching the group for better performance. He is also ready to support the team in other ways as far as facilities are concerned.
“To me, anyone who engages himself in drugs is very useless. Someone who is of a tender age should be very productive and should contribute to the growth of the society. Therefore, if a youth engages himself in drug and substance abuse at that age, he has not only wasted himself, but also the whole society at large,” the Pastor said.
The Pastor, therefore, encouraged other churches to embrace the same route and initiate projects to engage the youths which will not only build them but also guarantee a bright future. According to Pastor Ng’ang’a, this is the best way to curb drug abuse menace, especially in Kiambu, which is known to be one of the most affected counties in drug abuse.
On the other hand in word of faith, Kiambu Glenn Washington, a staunch member of that Church, who was brought up at Napasta Children’s Home, trains the youth as well as the teens on how to go about dance moves as a way of giving back to the society. The 23 year-old, has been now coaching the two units for the last five months.
Washington lived at the children’s home from 2006 to 2016 after facing neglect from his biological mother.
The home supported him up to high school level at St. Peters High School which is in Ndumberi.
After his secondary education course, Washington managed to make a way out of the home through the small income that he was generating from dance in 2017.
When he joined the Word of Faith Church, he decided to introduce a dance group by the name ‘Giant killers’ which he told KNA at the Church premises that it was based on the art of Goliath and David.
Residing at his grandmother’s home in Mburaria in Ndumberi, Washington now sacrifices to train the group members over the weekends, while on weekdays he runs his normal hustle for an income.
Apart from the group members who are basically from the two churches, Glen also trains high scholars dance during the holidays using the Church Hall, which he says has been fruitful in an effort to transform the youth from anti-social behavior where the art has attracted about 12 members to that Church.
Washington revealed that he made up his mind of sharing his talent as a way of appreciating the society for the act of mercy that he benefited from Napasta Children’s Home in Ngegu.
Apart from the church dance training, Washington also has been extending the service to Kamiti Corner which is on your way to Ruiru, Dykaan College Kiambu Town Branch, as well as children homes based in Kiambu County, including Napasta Children’s Home which he looks at as his home.
“From my trips of training in these areas, I have inducted a few trainees who come for follow ups on the same at Word of Faith Church. From attendance, they are able to dance but they share the word of God as well as during such forums,” Mr. Washington said.
Through the small income he generates from performing in concerts, weddings, roadshows and other events, he is able to facilitate the running of the initiative in terms of raising fee for promoting his dance.
Some of his trainees have been doing so well and he has incorporated some in his commercial dance group.
The trainees have been able to do the dance for a living amid the shortage of job opportunities that have been bedeviling the county.
According to Washington the training has played a big role in attracting new members to the church through entertainment as well as from participation. He is also willing to recruit more individuals for the training sessions free of charge, saying an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
“It’s not all about building my brand. If I can be able to make an impact in the society the better. Therefore, sharing my talent and offering mentorship to the youths is an achievement to me as it has also helped scores of youth to keep off drugs,” Washington added.
On career progression, Washington has been featured in the video footages of Nancy Mugure’s songs who is a well-known Kikuyu gospel artist, as a professional dancer. Although he is struggling to be independent and financially stable, he said that he can’t wait until he is successful in life to do something that is helpful to the church ministry as well as society at large.
Director of Sports in Kiambu County Government, Mr. Chegue Gitangu, while talking to KNA from his office today, said dance was the in-thing as young people were driven by emotions and one did not necessarily need academics to pursue it.
He also encouraged the duo to continue in their pursuit as it was also an ideal avenue that they could use to educate the other young people in their midst.
Saying, it was such a brilliant idea, he also cautioned parents and guardians to follow-up on their children as even after dancing, they still remained children who should be guided on proper timings so that they were not misled by peer pressure which was a major problem to many youths.
By Robert Muiruri