Sidmouth children sing out for Africa

CHILDREN from schools in and around Sidmouth sang their hearts out for Africa in Jambo Tanzania last weekend.

CHILDREN from schools in and around Sidmouth sang their hearts out for Africa in Jambo Tanzania last weekend.

The concerts; two in Sidmouth and one in Exmouth, were the latest in a series of fund-raising initiatives planned by Judith Smith, in an attempt to raise £15,000 by Christmas to sink a water bore-hole in her home village of Buturi, Tanzania.

Dressed in special yellow and orange T-shirts; sponsored by the Learning Community, pupils from Sidmouth Infants, All Saints Infants, St Nicholas Junior, Sidmouth College and Branscombe, Sidbury, Otterton and Newton Poppleford primaries, all joined in the fundraising concert at Manor Pavilion Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

Schools from Exmouth did the same thing again at Exmouth Pavilion on Monday.

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Local businesses sponsored the hire of both venues, allowing Judith to put most of the ticket sales towards the project.

It was great to see good support for the Sidmouth concerts, produced and directed by Deirdre Dee, who certainly tackled head-on the task of staging the concert.

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Songs from the musical Lion King featured strongly, forming the opening number The Lion Sleeps Tonight, with the stage packed with happy faces.

Deirdre compered the show, which saw some great moves by Funkifeet dance group, in Sarafina and Low.

African poetry, taken from those posted on the London tube during the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, were read by Sidmouth College students, who also performed many of the songs.

One highlight was a performance of The Tiger and the Rabbit by children from St Nicholas Junior School, who told the story of the selfish tiger that refused to let other animals eat fruit from a pear tree until rabbit came up with a cunning plan.

After a Christmas sing-along with the audience, the cast returned to perform the Michael Jackson song We the World.

Judith, who spoke about the Buturi water project and also of building a school for the village, said after the event: "I think it went very well. The kids did a fantastic job and the parents thoroughly enjoyed it.

"The level of interest locally is quite good and it gave the chance to raise the profile again."

She said money and donations from the shows was still being counted but if the £15,000 target is reached she will be going to Buturi in January to put into motion engineering works for the bore hole.

She also wants the villagers to learn to help other villages nearby and find ways of sustaining the system once in place.

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