Barbara is a girl from the GLONEVA brass band – one of Brass for Africa’s partner organisations in Kampala, Uganda

We first met Barbara in 2019. Curious and hardworking, Barbara wanted to become a teacher and see the world. But like many young girls in Namuwongo – one of Kampala’s largest and poorest informal settlements – her day revolved around caring for her siblings, cooking, collecting water, and worrying about her future.

She describes how one day, feeling sad and anxious, she decided to take a stroll around Namuwongo. All of a sudden, she heard a brass band playing and started wondering “where is this beautiful sound coming from?” She started searching for it and soon discovered it was coming from the Brass for Africa band, who were marching in her community! At this very moment, she got inspired by the sound which was coming from the tuba, and she thought to herself: “I must also play that instrument too!”.

Barbara believes that music transforms lives because right now, there are changes she sees in herself that she did not have before joining the brass band. We asked if she would share with us some of the changes she has seen in herself ever since she joined the brass band and where she sees herself in years to come. These are her words:

“By the time I joined the brass band, my self-confidence, self-esteem, communication skills, teamwork, concentration and leadership skills have improved to a way that I can now stand in front a big audience without fear. I have learnt to communicate with my friends in the band and even people in the community, I work with my friends in the band– whenever we are given a task, we work through it as a team. I have learnt how to concentrate when doing something and this has also enabled me to concentrate in class when the teachers are teaching and about leadership skills, I have learnt a lot and right now I am the leader of my band. In years to come, I see myself as a great tuba player, leader, and inspirer because I love to inspire as many girls as possible.”

Author: Aisha Nassaazi. Aisha is one of the beneficiaries of our partnership with GLONEVA – a locally-led organisation based in the informal settlement of Namuwongo, Kampala. She is also a member of the Brass for Africa All-Stars Band and is currently a student at the African Institute of Music.  During her summer break, Aisha is supporting Brass for Africa in collecting stories from the field and writing articles to share with our global audience!