Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy

The academy

The „Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy“ (SUDA) was founded by a group of young, talented artists in the Ugandan capital Kampala. They built the academy close to the city‘s slums priortizing socialyy disadvantaged and vulnerable children and to show them the joy of living. The academy is accessable to all citizens. Professional artists teach the young talents in traditional African music, dance and acting while looking out for individual encouragement.

Today the academy consists of over 300 students in the age of 5 to 18 years. They are taught in the three biggest cities of Uganda. Furthermore, they provide educative leisure activities for youth and children in the urban slums of Kampala.

The vision

The project is part of the „Undugu“- movement which aims to restore a united African confidence and to promote a life in peace and cultural diversity. „Undugu“ is Swahili and can be translated with „family hood“ or „friendship“. Through dance and music, the „Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy“ wants to encourage respect and understanding between the different tribal cultures. Therefore the challenge is to preserve the traditional arts and traditions of Uganda while breaking with inhuman traditions such as genital mutilation and to call up for a rethinking.

The joy of dancing

The founders of SUDA are convinced of dance being the best way to express oneself and to open up towards others. In doing so, they make use of their whole body – typical for Uganda are stamp-, hip-, abdominal- and arm dances. By involving the audience, the children unveil their thoughts and feelings to every spectator. The young artists themselves, gain energy and celebrate life by dancing and making music. „A dancer forgets about the violence and crimes around him and realizes life itself. “, says Br. Mark L. Mugwanya, Co-founder of SUDA.

Uniting in music

Rhythm and music are deeply rooted in African culture. In their music, the „Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy“ combines various traditional drums, string- and melodic percussion instruments of different tribes and creates a new understanding of music.

Familiar faces

One of the most talented musicians in the Ugandan art scene and artist director of SUDA, Laurence Okello, has been travelling with „Ndere Kids“ and the KinderKulturKarawane in 2002 and inspired many spectators with his virtuoso skills.

Get to know the members of this year’s ensemble on this page.


"Engooma Zogera"

For their trip with KinderKulturKarawane, the Ugandan group has created „Engooma Zogera“(Drums tell), a show which makes use of the immense treasure trove of experience of the different Ugandan tribes. Special stamp-, hip-, abdominal- and arm dances represent different regions of the country. Those dances are accompanied by various African string and percussion instruments and by drums in all different sizes. To complete the insight into the historical culture of Uganda, the children also tell the story of the drums and the ancient kingdom of Buganda during their performance.


The royal drums represent the spiritual or supernatural king of Buganda. As long as they exist the Bugandan citizens will always have a king. Originally the drums were only played by selected drummers at the birth and death of the king. That’s why they still are important in the Bugandan tradition.


This royal dance once was used as a ritual to entertain the Bugandan king and nobleness. Very memorable are the highly frequented sidekicks which the male dancers do to amuse the king.

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