It’s Saturday night at Humala River Lodge. The African sun is slipping into the horizon as you take your seat around a blazing boma fire. The primal drumbeats are powerful and evocative… you can actually feel the sound in your soul.
The dance is carefully choreographed and punctuated with dexterous jumps, fancy footwork and high kicks to rival Broadway’s Rockettes. Strength and endurance are key to executing the vigorous yet graceful moves; the spectacle is nothing short of mesmerizing. Suddenly, one of the dancers walks over to you with a smile, takes your hand and leads you to the troupe to join in. You learn some simple steps, and if you don’t catch on, no worries – it’s all in fun. Well sort of.
The Swazi Dance Group that entertains the guests at Humala consists of children from the surrounding communities. The group was established to preserve Swazi culture by teaching the children the dance, music, and customs of the country. It also helps to keep them from falling prey to drugs, alcohol abuse, and pregnancy.
Humala Lends a Helping Hand
While the dancers have been performing at Humala since its inception, their current endeavor is relatively recent. The crafty kids are skilled at creating traditional Swazi attire and jewelry, and Humala is now selling the merchandise on their behalf. The Lodge initiated this community project last month to further encourage the area young people to perpetuate their precious culture through activities such as these.
Sales have gone well – the dancers earned nearly R1000 in their first month. They plan to use the money to improve their look as well as for materials to continue making Swazi arts and crafts.
Humala River Lodge employs The Swazi Dance Group to perform every Saturday night. The Group additionally earns tips and donations from guests. Humala staff transports them to the lodge before the show, provides them with food and drink afterward, and then drives them home.
Your stay at the Lodge goes a long way toward helping these kids, and ultimately, theirs, create a healthy, wholesome future… keeping alive the beat of ancestral traditions from centuries before.