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Uniting the Children of Uganda Through Breakdance and Hip Hop Culture

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Alfred Otim

Otim Alfred was born on the 8th September 1992 in Koch Goma Village, approximately 30 km from Gulu Town in Northern Uganda. During the height of the devastating conflict between Museveni's Government and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Otim's father died and the family was forced to move into Gulu town. Otim attended Nursery school and was enrolled at Layibi Central Primary School until the death of his mother in 2005. Shortly after, he moved in with his grandmother and transferred to Labour Line Primary School. In the same year, Otim joined a play therapy organization called H.E.A.L.S which promotes 'A child's right to play.' He particularly enjoyed the traditional dance activities. The following year, teachers from Breakdance Project Uganda came to H.E.A.L.S to run breakdancing classes. Through the project, Otim was given the opportunity to visit Kampala and be part of a national arts tour organized by Music Mayday in partnership with BPU. He also took b-boying lessons from Crazy Legs and Ynot of the Rock Steady Crew during a visit to Northern Uganda.

The breakdance classes moved to Gulu Youth Centre and a Gulu branch of Breakdance Project Uganda was officially launched in May 2009. Otim continues to practice his breakdancing skills and also passes them on to newer members of the project. Not only does he find that dancing is good for making friends, keeping healthy and having fun, he is also learning valuable leadership skills and how to be a good teacher. Otim is currently in S3 at Gulu College and hopes to go to University to become an engineer. He intends to use his skills to earn money for University by teaching and performing. Through breakdancing, Otim has been exposed to new opportunities and feels that it has had a positive impact on his life.