CHANDIA LUCKY: Impacting the community through hip-hop

Kindly introduce yourself to us and what you do.

My Name is Chandia Lucky aka B-boy Sadolin from Kampala, Uganda. I am the founder of HIP HOP TO THE REFUGEE CAMPS PROJECT, Co-founder of Youth Leadership 8 Africa, a member of International Dance Council, Generation Hip Hop Global, Universal Zulu Nation and co-Organizer of the events; Skillz East Africa and Afri-Cans Street Art Festival.

I am an international underground Hip Hop minister, educator, activist, creative facilitator and a grassroots community builder with a Honorary Associate Degree in the Ministry of Chaplaincy, Youth Services and Youth Development. I work directly with multicultural children, youths and adults in schools, camps, post conflict zones, drug rehabs, refugee camps, festivals equipping them with Life essential tools that help them develop their leadership skills and esteem to freely express their talents and ideas regardless of background. This is aimed at a unified community of self created responsible leaders and citizens, through grass building and Hip Hop pedagogy to relieve human suffering.

I am also a break dance artist, beatboxer and rap-emcee who rhymes mostly in his indigenous language, a unique and powerful indigenous rooted style of positive spoken word to embrace and celebrate our native languages, cultures and traditions.

How do you manage all these responsibilities you hold? What is usually your motivation?

Well, in all my life, Hip Hop has been my survival skill and lifestyle and whatever work I do be it business, activism, artistry is within the Hip Hop lane and such a reality inspires me. I am motivated by my creative spirit and dedicated to changing lives and giving hope to young people from the ghetto slums of Kampala and all other rural areas in and out of Uganda.

I was once into self destruction: robbing, using drugs, jailed and so much more. Hip Hop was the force that God used to save me from all that. So that life I went through motivates me everyday to strive inpromoting social cultural response and seek to empower the community and its future through this urban youth culture we know as Hip Hop.

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So what activities do you use to promote change in society, as concerns hip-hop?

I use Hip Hop cultural elements such as breakdance, emceeing/rapping, graffiti, beatboxing, deejaying, street fashion, street language, street knowledge and street entrepreneurialism as a form of expression.

Hip Hop music and culture comprises an immensely powerful cultural art form that works to mobilise divine legitimate particular forms of knowledge and questions commonly had assumptions about the world and the given extensive popularity and global significances. I personally believe it has shifted from being merely a form of entertainment. It has its own educational values that authorize particular values, truth claims and subject positions which implicity or explicity contesting others. This is particularly relevant in colleges, community centers and Universities where courses on Hip Hop are being introduced and taught from many perspectives including political, historical, educational, health therapy, cultural and performance lenses and as ” a critical pedagogy” expressed through its cultural core values of Love, Peace, Unity and Safety!

I have ongoing events that encompasses Hip Hop beyond entertainment like Hip Hop to the Refugee Camps, Skillz East Africa and Afri-Cans Street Art Festival.

How has the response been in the refugee camps and have you had any success stories from these engagements?

It’s been a successful as we’ve worked with refugee from South Sudan; for our approach towards social change is uniquely designed that it strives for a balance between critical thinking, reflection, analysis and action engaging the body mind and spirit.

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Do you think they like keeping the status que in refugee camps as a cash cow from their mother nations?

Most definitely! One of the challenges we have had working in partnership with the existing organizations is that, some exploit and manipulate the refugees; in fact we’ve come to notice that some of the giant organizations that give financial support are the same entities that fuel these wars because they get money from the situation. Imagine if all the refugees go back to their countries, it simply means that the people employed within these organizations in the settlements won’t have jobs anymore; so they absolutely they like keeping the status quo as a cash cow. That’s why my approach is revolutionary and it’s not easy to work with the people that are trying to rip off the very people you are trying to preserve, uplift and develop.

Any other challenges you face in your endeavours?

At many times as an activist and a revolutionary soul it’s so hard to survive in the system that you are against and yet it controls almost everything besides our souls and if you don’t want to be a sell out , you have to work really hard and outside of the system validations.

Another challenge would also be monetary resources for further building the works that we do . Plus also stereotypes from the community when you say you are a rapper or breakdancer they undermine you . Another challenge is general to the Hip Hop culture. Unfortunately, people today have grown accustomed to equating Rap music and the images portrayed in mainstream Rap music videos with the whole of Hip Hop’s culture and history. Most of the mainstream Rap videos are imaginary tales of crime, sex, fantasy, violence, street adventure. Such material is not real “Hip Hop” It is not authentic to the original Hip Hop spirit or tradition , and does not represent the intent of Hip Hop which is positive social change.

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Who are some of East Africa vision lists have you interacted with and maybe worked with?

With an experience of 8 years of community building, I have had the opportunity to build and work with both local and international organizations, movements, events and festivals like; Peace One Day, Peace Corps, US Dance Mission, Ghetto Gospel, Ceda International, UNHCR and many more.

What next for you in the coming years? Where do you see yourself?

In the coming years, I see myself doubling whatever I’m doing now. I will extend the Skillz East Africa tour to all other East African countries namely Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, establishing an international Hip Hop cultural exchange program between Uganda and other countries.

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I will strive to create a self sustainable youth community through entrepreneurship and supporting youth business ideas. I see myself expanding our annual “Entrepreneurship and Youth Development Camp” inviting participants from all over the world to join the 5 days camp in Uganda. I seek to establish a recreational center in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda. Then in ten years, I wish to establish a Hip Hop education center in Uganda that houses a Hip Hop museum and classes in the various Hip Hop arts and disciplines. Besides that I still see myself as a revolutionary Hip Hop activist and grassroots community builder representing the people and I won’t stop.

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