The Wizard of Mwanza

During my time at KAASO in 2009 I had a dream of putting on a school show. My childhood was full of music and I wanted these children to have the same opportunity. So I rewrote the Wizard of Oz and created an African adaptation – the Wizard of Mwanza. We held auditions, rehearsed daily, Cherie made props and costumes, I was the one-man orchestra with my guitar and in October 2009, the curtains were raised on KAASO’s first ever school show.

We performed on Visiting Day, the same day Kiwi House was opened, to an audience of parents and guardians from far and wide and I couldn’t have been prouder. The show was a huge success, building the children’s confidence and I watched with delight as they blossomed into amazing performers, singing and dancing their way across the stage. We had so few resources; the curtains were my bedsheets, the costumes mostly school uniforms with a few pieces plucked here and there and sewn together by one of the teachers’ wives but it may as well have been Broadway from the smiles on the children’s faces. Now every time I return to KAASO I am greeted by songs from the show – and I know the will continue to ring through the school grounds for years to come.

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