News from SCIS:

Round Square Africa Regional Conference 2018

The weekend of 17th February 2018 was a very busy one for our school as we welcomed the Round Square Africa Regional Conference 2018. This conference, with a theme “Utamaduni” or Culture, brought together a total of nearly 100 students of Round Square member schools from different parts of Africa.

Round Square is a worldwide network that connects international schools in 50 countries across the six continents. The organisation aims to educate young people through six “IDEALS”.

The fascinating experience touches on: Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. One goal is to get students involved in organising conferences that will allow delegates to unite and practice the “Ideals” of Round Square either regionally or globally.

This year, for the first time, our school was chosen to host the Round Square Africa Regional Conference which also marks the first Round Square conference in Tanzania. Two years of continuous imagining of how the conference could turn out seemed almost impossible but yet irresistible. The 17th of February seemed far away until it came!

Marking this big day, the delegates and their teachers had a chance to print  their hands on the diversity wall, an act which symbolised their participation and togetherness  in RSARC2018.

The opening ceremony took place in the school assembly hall with a profound opening speech from our Round Square President Mr. Mhidini Gwiyama which for the most part brought knowledge to the delegates on our theme Utamaduni

The entertainment was a big part of the ceremony and  various  dance performances enlightened and thrilled the delegation.  Our Primary school played a big role by using their resonating voices on the Tanzania nakupenda kwa Moyo Wote “Tanzania I love you with all my heart” a song which brought joy and pride to everyone in the hall. Consisting of over four Tanzanian tribes, the secondary school performance was quite a show! The stage bounced due to their enthusiastic gestures, leaving the delegates with an exciting and cheerful reaction.

Thinking that they had seen it all, the delegates were astounded by a remarkable finishing performance of “See us before we pass” the theme song that was composed by our music teacher Mr. Kalule with the assistance of the school band. This one truly got everyone off their feet!

And what is a 4-day “Utamaduni “conference without a swanking of cultural attires! The fashion show brought more to life than any other activity planned for the conference!  After spending a few sessions in their Baraza groups, the delegates set the stage on fire, though thankfully not literally!.  The dynamics of African culture were revealed; everyone in their cultural dresses showed them off proudly. There was a band of bright colours accompanied by ever louder cheers from the crowd.

Speaking about her experience in the fashion show, our Round Square Secretary Miss. Cecilia Mlenga said: “In a flash I felt gifted but ashamed of how long I had taken to appreciate my culture. This was the day I committed to my culture and made a vow to embrace it every step of the way”

Delivering speeches  across the conference, four keynote speakers  spoke on various aspects of Tanzanian culture and that of Africa as a whole. Each of them individually plays a different role in their communities to ensure that African culture remains recognized. They insisted that with their young age it is important for the delegates to embrace their culture and practice it with pride for it is quite unique and fascinating.

The days went by really fast and sadly, too soon, we had to say our goodbyes! A chance to meet new people and explore new cultures meant everything to many of us. New friends who few days before were total strangers showed us how Round Square really connects people of different ethnicity.

We had the opportunity to hear closing remarks from our Round Square Vice President Mariam Mhina; she appreciated each and every person who had devoted themselves to prepare the Round Square conference. Our Schedule and speaker leader, Rahma Kiongozi reminded us of our Round Square team member Nolan Kishe who passed on in October of 2017 during our preparation for the conference. We took one minute to celebrate his life by clapping, recognising his efforts and contribution to the success of our conference. Lastly, we sang the theme song which brought everyone together in one voice and one heart to acknowledge our roots.

Overall, our theme, “Utamaduni” was not just seen by the delegates; it was felt and engraved in their hearts. From the cultural dinner to the cultural dances, the African clothes to paying a visit to the Hadzabe land we are overjoyed to announce that our first Round Square Africa Regional Conference 2018 was a great success!

Mariam Mhina & Cecilia Mlenga