November 9, 2009

AGYA Goes to the Studio!

As one of the few community-based organizations in Uganda that has adopted hip-hop culture as a foundational element of our arts and education programs, AGYA is giving urban Ugandan youth the opportunity to express themselves through rapping, breakdancing, and graffiti art in an environment of shared values. AGYA has embraced the philosophy of conscious, positive hip-hop as a global youth culture by fully integrating the culture's messages, themes, style, and images into our After-School Program curriculum.

AGYA Youth have formed "BTH" which stands for Big Time Hustlers. Though inspired by American rap artists such as Jay-Z, T.I., and Lil Wayne, BTH are truly defining their own message and style that is uniquely African. Rapping in indigenous languages, BTH focuses on making music with positive messages that can inspire youth to reach their full potential, continue their education, and be who they are. BTH raised enough money for a studio session by selling chapati, tea, and groundnuts at AGYA's weekly Sunday community meetings. In recent weeks, BTH has performed at local schools, and recorded their first song. In 2010, BTH plans to record more songs, launch their first fashion brand of t-shirts, and create innovative music videos for their first single.

Hoping to record another song before the Christmas holiday, BTH is currently fundraising for their second studio session. To contribute to this effort, U.S. donors can mail your tax-deductible donation to:

African Millennium Foundation
c/o Amagezi Gemaanyi(AGYA)
468 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210

* write "AGYA-Uganda BTH project" in the memo line of your check or money order to ensure that your donation is properly allocated *

Ugandan donors should e-mail: to make donation arrangements.

BTH in Pictures

AGYA Youth Leaders and BTH founders, Brian "B-Stat" Sseguya and Nelson "Vimcage" Kazibwe perform for high-school students, teachers, and parents at a special event hosted by Kampala Secondary School in October 2009.

ABOVE & BELOW: Brian Sseguya during BTH's first recording session.

ABOVE: BTH members during a free-style practice session at the AGYA Learning Center in Kampala.

ABOVE: BTH celebrates AGYA's NGO Certification.

ABOVE: Rita Nansubuga, an AGYA Girls Member and BTH's only female MC, performs her verse during the studio session while fellow MC, Nelson Kazibwe documents the session.