Spence News

Rwandan Drumming Group Ingoma Nshya Visits Spence

Two recent Middle School assembly meetings introduced students to the significance of women’s leadership to Rwanda’s life and culture. Jennie Dundas, Co-Founder of Blue Marble Ice Cream, spoke to Grades 5-8 students about her collaboration to open the first ice cream shop in Rwanda with Gakire Katese Odile (Kiki), the leader of the transformational all-women Rwandan drumming group, Ingoma Nshya. During the second assembly, Kiki and members of Ingoma Nysha visited Spence to share a performance with students and discuss the significance of the group. Students had the opportunity to ask questions about the traditional drumming process, followed by workshops in French classes, where the group taught students how to play drums, dance and sing in French. 

Formed by Kiki in 2004, Ingoma Nshya, which translates to “New Drum” and “New Power,” breaks the traditional Rwandan social custom that prohibits women from drumming. Through song and drumming, the women communicate messages about hope and female empowerment. The group aims to inspire gender equality infused with respect, unity and joy.
A K-12 independent school in New York city, The Spence School prepares a diverse community of girls and young women for the demands of academic excellence and responsible citizenship.


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