Bila-wa is a platform that uses the fusion of Poetry, hip-hop, storytelling and local instruments for a positive cause. Under a slogan Bila-wa Dwon wa (literally meaning our voices).
The name Bila-wa comes from Luo words BILA (a long circular tube from an animal’s horn played by blowing from one end to produce sound) and WA meaning ours therefore ‘BILA-WA’…“OUR HORN” or Our Voices. The members appeal to the world to listen to their voices.
Bila is used in Luo culture and tradition for creating awareness or call for attention about some happenings in the society.
This movement uses the conscious content form of hip-hop, where a poet/rapper is generally positive or calls for some sort of change or advancement. It often deals with social issues and the community. The majorly addressed issues are Child abuse, Drug abuse/addictions, early pregnancy, un-employment, Gender Based Violence and the like.
The Poets/emcees majorly use the Local language i.e. Luo which is meant to get straight to the local person’s understanding. However other dialects are also blended.
Bila-wa has female and male members aged from 12years to Adults, both school going and non school going.
Bila wa also has artist talented in Graffiti Art and Design
Bila-wa uses various approaches and skills to address the mass. These include;
• Slam poetry
• Fusion of rap/hip-hop and local instruments
• Beat boxing
• Spoken word
• Percussion discussion
• Graffiti Art and design.
Bila-wa was founded in February 2012 by Rwot Onung p’yai a.k.a komakech Nicholas (R.I.P), Mc Wang jok a.k.a Rubangakene Ivan(Arts designer/Emcee) and Jok Ocol Ajuc a.k.a Ocan Samuel (independent video producer/Graphics designer), from Gulu, Northern Uganda, inspired by Bayimba Cultural foundation through its Youth & Hip-hop Project.
Trainings and rehearsals take place at Taks centre, Gulu on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the Graffiti artists, poets/emcees, and the local instrumentalists coming together.
Bila-wa puts up a presentation titled “Bila-wa night” which takes place every last Friday of the month at Taks centre, Gulu from 8pm to 12midnight.
Bila wa has one recorded song titled “LAPINY” (a Luo word for Bad spirits)
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
Bila wa major aims and objectives are;
- To create a platform or place for the youth to do something positive and keep them away from negativity, as the saying goes “an idle mind is a devils workshop”.
- Preserving culture by integration with a medium (Hip-hop) that attracts most children and youth in both urban and rural community.
- To create a place for education and entertainment outside disco halls and pubs.
- To advocate for some group of people e.g. children, youth, women and the vulnerable.
- Sensitize the community about issues like health, Children right, Peace and unity in the society.
- It also aims at giving comfort and consolation to ones who are unable to go to school because of financial issues and former rebel abductees, orphans and war victims.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:
BILA-WA @ TAKS ART CENTRE, GULU.
RUBANGAKENE IVAN OCHAYA