Annie Wong meets the African drummer beating a new path in Sai Kung.
When I moved to Hong Kong three years ago, I visited Sai Kung at weekends for sightseeing. I saw the community as very warm, which made me want to start something new in Sai Kung if the opportunity came about. Fortunately, I found myself with Sai Kung Tutors (SKT), so I have brought my performance group, Djijor, to Sai Kung.
Sai Kung is a peaceful place. I like the natural environment and the mountains. People are extremely welcoming and make me feel at home. The Sai Kung community is able to adapt to different cultures and people say hello when I’m on my way to work.
I started drumming in primary school. My teacher picked me to be a part of the performance and drumming team. I realised I had talent. I was working in telecommunications when I decided to fulfil my dream to perform and make it my source of income.
I teach people about performing and drumming. I teach kids, young people and adults African rhythms, songs and stories, and where they come from. I teach people what Africa is made of, not only music but the history, culture, lifestyle and moral values.
Reactions to my performances are very positive. Through my performances, I want to create confidence, happiness and stress relief for people. I want to make an impact, to have interaction with people in Sai Kung and people in Hong Kong. We are looking to reach out to everyone.
I hold community workshops in the town hall every Wednesday. I also perform for schools, special- needs education and aged care facilities. We play games and sing songs with the kids and the elderly. We bring joy. They don’t have to play, but they are happy to see us. That’s how it should be.
I make and repair drums. My drums are handmade out of heartwood and painted with African symbols. We supply drums in the lessons.
I have a big vision for myself and for Djijor. I want to expand African music in Sai Kung and Hong Kong. As I work to expand Djijor, more members of the performance group will come to Hong Kong.
For more information, please visit www.africandrumanddance.hk.