INTERVIEW: Children of the African Children’s Choir

The African Children’s Choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to helping Africa’s most vulnerable children today so they can help Africa tomorrow.

I was invited to attend the African Children’s Choir rehearsal for their Sunday morning performance at the Living Waters Church.  I took that opportunity to photograph and interview the children.

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The choir director, David, introduced me:  “Auntie would like to ask you some questions.”  I quickly learned that all adults in the room were their aunties and uncles.  I was charmed.

I asked the children to please raise their hands if they had an answer to my question.  Their manners and accented English were impeccable.  The children were genuinely happy and grateful.  It was an honor to spend a little bit of time with them, and to get to know them in their own words.

Cynda:  How old are you, generally?

Child:  Eight to ten.

Cynda:  Where did you perform last, before coming to Living Waters Church today?
(They had to think a little about this one, but finally a child raised his hand.) 

Child:  Bethel Church

Cynda:  And in what city?

Child:  Colorado Springs.  That was yesterday.

Cynda:  What country are you from?

Children in unison:  Uganda.

Cynda:  How long have you been here in America?

Child:  We have been here for seven months.

Cynda:  Are you enjoying it?

Children in unison:  Yes!!

Cynda:  How did you learn to sing?

Child:  We went somewhere in Uganda, and we practiced for five months in Uganda.

Cynda:  Very good!  Are any of you brothers and sisters?

Children in unison:  No….

Cynda:  Do you have brothers and sisters?

Children in unison:  Yes!!

Cynda:  Are they in Uganda?

Children in unison:  Yes!!

Cynda:  Do you ever get to talk to them?

Child:  Yes!  We send letters.

Cynda:  Letters!  What is your favorite thing about America, besides your performances, of course.

Child:  Playing soccer.

Child:  Swimming!

Cynda:  And what is your favorite American food?

Children:  Pizza!  Chicken Nuggets!  Spaghetti & meatballs.  Macaroni & cheese.  Lasagne!  Hot dog!  Hamburger!  Fries!  Taco in a bug.  (Must be an inside joke, as all the children laughed at “taco in a bug”.)

Cynda:  Okay, I think we’ve covered your favorite food.  Can any of you tell a joke?

Children:  Yes!

Cynda:  Let’s hear your jokes.  Keep it clean…

Child:  How did Jarrod catch the squirrel?

Cynda:  I don’t know.  How?

Child:  He climbed up a tree and acted like a nut.

Cynda:  (laughing) Is there anyone here named Jarrod?  Who else has a joke?

Child:  Knock knock, who’s there?

Cynda:  Who?

Child:  Baba.  Baba Cue.  (Children laughed.)

Cynda:  Baba Cue?  That one’s over my head.  Let’s hear another joke.

Child:  Which key can open a door?

Cynda:  I don’t know.  Which key?

Child:  A monkey!

Cynda:  A monkey!  That’s good!  One more.  Who has a really good joke?

Child:  I do!  What name is given to a fish that doesn’t have any eye?

Cynda:  I don’t know.  What name?

Child:  Umm… (He can’t remember the punch line.)

Cynda:  You tell jokes the way I do!  One more…

Child:  What do you call an alligator in a vest?

Cynda:  I don’t know!

Child:  Invest alligator!

Cynda:  Invest alligator?  Hmm…  Investigator?

Child:  (very insistent) Invest alligator!

Cynda:  Thanks, kids!  Do you have any questions for me?

Child:   Where do you live?

Cynda:  I live here in Salida.

Child:  What is your name?

Cynda:  My name is Cynda.

Children:  Cynda Cynda

Child:  How many states have you been to?

Cynda:  Hmmm…more than half.

Child:  Where do you work?

Cynda:  I’m retired.  I don’t work any more, but I used to work.  Thank you so much!  You guys are adorable!

Children:  Thank you!  Thank you!

And off they went to play before dinner time.

The children travel by bus to each performance, and stay with host families.

I can’t imagine better ambassadors than the African Children’s Choir to bring awareness to the plight of African nations.

Look for a Photo Essay of the performance tomorrow…

 

Cynda Green

Cynda Green is an investigative reporter, writer, and photographer based out of Salida, Colorado. She may be contacted at cyndagreen@gmail.com.

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