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Pupils experience the thrill of Zulu music and dancing

PUBLISHED: 13:10 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:06 09 June 2018

Mighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A little corner of north Norfolk was given the full African experience when six Zulu dancers delivered a spellbinding show to 170 youngsters.

Mighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Happisburgh Primary School welcomed the Mighty Zulu Nation to its hall and invited neighbouring school, St Mary’s, Roughton along to enjoy the fun.

The youngsters clapped, cheered, laughed and tried out some of their own moves, as the performers held them spellbound with their dancing, songs, drumming, gymnastics and movement.

There were lots of smiles and enjoyment, although some of the little ones found the whole experience a bit too loud, and had to leave the hall early.

But Charlie Mason and Luke Everett, both 11, in the front row, said it was “really fun and amazing”. Dressed in traditional clothes the dancers are performing at Africa Alive, formerly known as Suffolk Wildlife Park, in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, over the summer, but offered to visit schools in the area.

Mighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

They performed in the morning and then delivered workshops, culminating with a final performance to parents.

Kathryn Jackson, headteacher at St Mary’s, said: “We had Bollywood dancers from London perform in February and the impact on the whole school was amazing. Tucked away in north Norfolk, many of our children don’t get experiences like this.”

Kate Mejri, headteacher at Happisburgh, said: “We joined forces with St Mary’s as we are both Church of England schools, both little, and lots of our children are not exposed to this kind of culture.”

The youngsters enjoyed the welcome change in their curriculum. Tomos Wilson-North, nine, said: “It’s good to learn about the dancing from a different country. We normally just get dancing from England.”

Mighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMighty Zulu Nation, from Africa Alive, performing at Happisburgh Primary School. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Maddison Rowley-Hill, nine, is a really good dancer, and said she enjoyed it.

And Tabitha Smith, 11, said she liked learning dancing from a different culture. The Mighty Zulu Nation Theatre Company was inaugurated in 1982 and gives young South Africans the chance to follow creative pursuits ranging from grass roots to professional excellence. The cast originate from Durban in the kingdom of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and they have been touring the UK since 1997.

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