Rhoda Mirembe loves to sing.
The precocious 10-year-old Ugandan, who is currently participating in a cross-country tour with the African Children’s Choir, had never left her home city of Kampala before this trip.
Now she’s in the midst of a five-month tour that will take her all across Alberta and British Columbia, before traveling up to Alaska and then down through Washington.
The Star asked her how she feels about performing in front of Canadian strangers during a pit stop in Alberta.
“I like singing and dancing for the people,” Mirembe said, struggling to piece together the right English words. She said her favourite song is called “Village Song”.
“The song is about how it takes whole village to raise child in Africa,” she said.
Mirembe said she hopes to eventually become a pediatrician, because she wants to “help Africa”.
“The tour is going really well,” said chaperon Nate Longstaff, who has been escorting 18 children aged 9-11 as they perform as many as 6 shows a week.
“These kids are selected on the basis of need. We’re trying to install hope in them. This experience feeds their aspirations, gives them education. By coming over here they realize there is a huge world outside their slum or village,” he said.
“During the concerts you’ll hear them say they want to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, astronauts. It’s such a unique experience for them because they can see what’s in their grasp,” he said.
The choir will be in Crawford Bay, at the Kootenay Lake Community Church, on July 2.