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Kenyan dance troup finally arrive in York
KENYAN dancers whose dream trip to York was delayed by an airport fire have finally arrived in the UK.
The arrival of the Zakale Dance Troupe, from the Mathare Slum in Nairobi, had to be delayed due to the devastating fire at the arrivals building in Nairobi Airport last week, but the group will arrive in York tomorrow – and will also now perform at the Galtres Festival.
York based charity Walk Against Crime has reorganised events for the 11 teenage drummers and dancers and their party leaders, who will perform at the Festival in Helmsley on Friday and Saturday.
Terry Brett, owner of Pyramid Gallery, which is supporting the project, approached James Houston of Galtres Festival to organise the group’s appearance.
He said: “It was very rewarding to receive an immediate positive acknowledgement from James, and from Mary Passeri who organises the Family Fun field.
“They appreciated the value of the project and the entertainment that the young dancers will provide without hesitation.
“We are very grateful for this as the event will give lots of opportunities for Zakale to dance in front of an audience and will be a fabulous experience for them.”
While in York, the group will also attend a special lunch at the friends Meeting House in Friargate on Sunday where they will meet the Lord Mayor Julie Gunnell, and perform at an official reception at the Mansion House.
Jeremy Piercy, owner of the Shared Earth store in Petergate, visited Kenya in 2011 and was so impressed that he invited the dance group to Britain to perform and raise awareness of the effect of poverty in much of Kenya.
He has raised about £25,000 to fund the trip but since the fire at Nairobi’s airport, the cost of flights has risen, and the number has been restricted. Walk Against Crime is now appealing for help raising enough money to allow the group to complete their tour.
The charity is running a competition, with tickets available at Pyramid Gallery in Stonegate and Shared Earth in Minstergate, and are accepting donations through walkagainstcrime.org