June has become the one where young people are celebrated while also commemorating the 1976 student uprisings which took place in Soweto.
For us it is also a time to celebrate National Child Protection Week (CPW).
CPW shines the spotlight on children and the strides being made in observing, protecting and promoting their rights. This year’s campaign (June 2-9) coincided with the commemoration of 25 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa.
The campaign also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – an international instrument on the protection of children that South Africa ratified in 1995.
There are many ways in which people across the country and elsewhere in Africa are carrying the baton in promoting children’s welfare and empowering them with skills to be the best they can be.
A case in point is that of dance maestro Velile Dube. She uses ballet to help young people build self-esteem, confidence and break barriers to success. Ballet is in her blood.
When she was only six years old her family helped her join the Royal Academy of Dance before proceeding to hone her skills at the iconic National School of the Arts, both in Johannesburg.
It was at the National School of Arts that Dube broadened her dance knowledge and got introduced to other dance regimes namely, Jazz, Spanish, Contemporary and African Dance. She received a lot of dancing experience by working with the likes of Theatre Guru, Mbongeni Ngema, South African Ballet Theatre, Taelo Dance Theatre, Paul Modjadji, Hot House, and Dada Masilo.
In July 2016 after 25 years of dance experience, this professional dancer and choreographer started Kids In Motion. This was all in effort to create a healthier, happier and open minded future generation.
Through various dance mediums, Dube hopes to empower the youth with various skills to assist them to make better life decisions. Kids In Motion started with just four children and now boasts of 60 very talented and unique individuals.
“One of our dancers has Down Syndrome and this to some people may seem as a hindrance but Kids In Motion values every child with a dream of becoming a dancer and works to make that dream a reality,” she said.
Since then Kids In Motion has been invited to perform at prestigious events and festivals namely MTN 21 yellow days launch, Standard Banks Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival, Novi Sad Dance Fest in Serbia, Europe and the MTN Busfire Festival 2019.
“One very recent achievement was having 15 of our ballet dancers compete at Talent Africa dance competitions held at Roodeport, South Africa, in March. They received gold medals, qualifying to compete at Talent America Internationals,” Dube said.
Kids In Motion is growing and has received recognition from BBC Africa, who are set to film the young and upcoming dancers for BBC News, this month.