After I had my first salsa lesson in 2002, I learned a fascinating lesson… That it wasn’t just about the dance… It was about the experience. Lovely people that you wanted to see every week. A lovely atmosphere you needed to recharge in every week. Friends who would stay friends for the next decade.
The exhilarating high you’d go back home with although exhausted and soaked with sweat. The refreshing feeling of being energised that woke you up extra early the next morning. And the excitement in the pit of your stomach for the rest of the week which made you couldn’t wait till the next session.
This is my inspiration behind Kizalsa. It was a beautiful lifestyle that set us apart from everyone else. Made us special. Brought us close. Made us like family. People on the outside envied us and longed to be part of that something special. That’s what I long for. That’s why I labour. That’s what I seek to recapture.
All that was before we grew up. And decided we didn’t need that family anymore. We formed new families. We lost touch. We formed factions and divisions. We turned the place of joy into a centre of painful memories. Of heartbreak. Of betrayal. Of disloyalty. Of broken trust. Of pain.
Now the feeling isn’t the same. We have chased it everywhere. But we know it’s different. We have come close several times but we never reach it. And have been unable to sustain it. We have blamed the pioneers, the miscreants, the current generation, when the real culprits are ourselves.
We allowed our human pettiness, selfishness, greed, callousness, nonchalance and pride to infiltrate and corrupt something beautiful that we were blessed to be invited to experience. And now our lives and the world is all the poorer for it. But this is not to lay blame at anyone’s doorstep.
I am fighting a battle. A battle to reclaim the beautiful lifestyle we once had. One that we took for granted and never thought would end. Relationships that should have lasted forever but we took for granted and did. A battle for restoration of the experience and possibly to improve upon it.
Kizalsa is only a platform. A concept geared towards helping in the achievement of that goal. The real deal is the family of dancers who no longer long to be a part of us… and that numbers runs in hundreds over the years.
They come to visit us occasionally but do not return because they feel the difference and they assume it’s because they’ve been away too long or because they’ve ‘outgrown’ it all… But we all know, deep down… That’s not true.
This is a family fragmented. It needs to be put back together. Where we have failed we must learn and retrace our steps. We need to recapture what made us so special that outsiders longed to be a part of us. We need to get off our high horses of self proclaimed independence when we know deep down we miss that experience and longingly reminisce.
We were blessed with that experience. Let us pass the blessing on to a new generation. Holding on to one without letting go of the other. We all know people we introduced to dance whose lives were changed permanently. The world needs more of that. We might have failed before but together we can do better. I believe it’s time. Ghana deserves it.
Kizalsa – a Beautiful Lifestyle will be organizing the National Kizalsa Home Coming 2015. Kindly watch this space and give us your support. You are that family. Have a blessed day guys.
Credit Ricci Kwabena Boateng