As part of President Barack Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Exchange Program, American Exchange Fellows were selected as Mandela Washington Fellows for Young African Leadership Initiative-Reverse Exchange Fellows to partner with Swazi Exchange Fellow from Swaziland to host a high-caliber formal music education youth program entitled Emandla Emculo (Power of Music).
Emandla Emculo(Power of Music) is a joint initiative between Miliswa Mamba (Mandela Washington Fellow’15) and Gerami Groover (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reverse-Exchange Awardee’16), which resulted in a two-week (August 8-19th, 2016) formal music education program, business forum and benefit concert to more than 150 Swazi youth, local officials, non-profit leaders, scholars, educators, local and international artists.
This initiative’s achieved purpose was to influence and cultivate young artists with the mission to promote social responsibility and cultural appreciation through the arts.
Emandla Emculo also hosted a business forum, which allowed for the exchange of innovative concepts and engaging conversations regarding two topics: “The importance of music in Swazi culture” and “The importance of music education from a global and national perspective”. The forum produced calls for action as to how Emandla Emculo, along with our key partners, will make it possible to provide comprehensive music education programs in every school district, allowing the continued advancement of musicianship for all young Swazi artists regardless of their socio-economic status or lack of access to music education through financial contributions.
Emandla Emculo is the flagship program for Gerami Groover Presents Educational Outreach Programs, and there will continue to be an annual Youth Music Program under the leadership of Gerami Groover Presents in partnership with the department of education of Swaziland.