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Developing Talents in Art for self-sustenance.

Developing and Professionalizing Talents in performing and creative arts as we embrace cultural diversity & advance entrepreneurship skills

Photo of Ssozi Brian
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

We intend to tap into the undeveloped & underutilized talents and opportunities of art & cultural diversity, enabling us to build Capacity of Young people in promoting their God given talents, appreciate cultural values, promote & celebrate cultural diversity, through art, devoted to healing, stimulating creativity & furthering discovery of new cultural horizons for Peace & development to reduce the rampant unemployment of the youth. We intend to do this by advancing our organization into an academy to train the youth in performing and creative arts. They will be trained for one year and thereafter connected to clients who will need their services and those to remain will join the organization's Troupe which will be its ambassador for attracting more partners and inspiring the rest to develop their talents as well. Cultural and social gatherings, workshops, seminars, and research can be conducted at the academy to bring in more revenue for sustainability. Since Rockies Talent Academy will be teaching direct employment to the youth, their visual and audio works will be recorded, promoted & sold to get revenue for them & annual concerts will be organized to showcase their works for further publicity. Our cultures expressed in performing & creative arts are at market globally. We are already in partnership with two parks in China now who need 20 professional performers annually to entertain their guests in the parks, but we lack capacity to supply hence the need of the academy

WHO BENEFITS?

The less privileged young talented people in Uganda& their families as well as talented youth experts from East Africa who will come to train their cultures. They will become professionals in creative and performing arts, thereby getting employed in this field, within and outside the country. The community around us, organisations and the state will as well benefit, by having quality tailored entertainment (edutainment) on different themes affecting them & on functions by professional artists.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU

Rockies is a non for profit cultural organization based in Uganda, which has invested its time in developing talents of less privileged young people across the country, in the field of performing & creative arts and advance their entrepreneurship skills to make them self-reliant. www.rockiesug.org

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

  • Uganda

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BECAUSE OF BENEFICIARY FEEDBACK?

Indeed I thank you for having told us to talk to beneficiaries and get feedback, they have greatly improved our Idea. 1. We are now looking at having an academy for creative and performing arts which has not been here. 2. We are also thinking of having an audio and a video studio which will help record the products of these beneficiaries for people to see the beauty of their works and support them as they buy these products physically and online. 3. The arrangement of the annual concert will be improved to a two day or three event, where people can come and see the works that have been done through the year by these young people, buy their products, network with the rest of the world and get entertained. 4. We have also started thinking of how to organizing mini festivals in schools and villages in different regions of the country, which will help identify more talented people in the country. This can be annually done in partnership with some schools, and the students that qualify will join the academy to be professionally trained, to enable them be self-reliant in Life. We were able to get all these insights to improve our idea from the feedback we got by the beneficiaries.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

In Uganda we do not have a performing and creative arts Academy. We only have music schools which are very expensive and only teach modern instruments. Now building our idea into an Academy, will help many underprivileged youth have a chance to develop their talents, for there is nothing as profitable as a talent. At Rockies we make our own cultural outfits, jewelries and instruments thus giving entrepreneurial skills to members in addition to arts and dances. Our country is blessed with very many young people who have amazing talents, but because of the inability to access spaces or platforms, they can never demonstrate or grow their amazing talents. They end up failing to exploit their full potential in life. Rockies is a family of people with talents who have interest and passion to grow them. The love within the family attracts others to develop their talents. Rockies is demand driven and interest based. We facilitate and guide, scout resourceful persons to facilitate their sessions to get the skills needed, & then create platforms to showcase their full potential to the rest of the world. With its diverse nature, the idea will create employment to very many talented youth.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HAS NOT BEEN SOLVED?

32.2% of the youth are unemployed in Uganda & worse for degree holders at 36% whereas the youth and young people constitute 78% of the 34 million people in Uganda. This means Youth unemployment is a threat & a big problem to the country. Developed countries in the world, identify talents at their infantry & facilitate them to grow, which helps them to take these careers in life and get employed by their talents. In Uganda as a country, this is lacking. That is why Rockies feels, there is a need to facilitate and develop talents of young people, give them entrepreneurial skills to make them self reliant, increase employment opportunities and reduce unemployment rates of the youth in Uganda.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA?

Where we shall put the overwhelming numbers of the beneficiaries who are eagerly waiting to join us in case the program starts according to the feedback we got while in the field. The other question could be, how to identify the rightful partners to work with in realizing our dream. Then also making a curriculum for our programs and the year planner for our activities, is something we cannot take for granted, and lastly how to penetrate into the global market.

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

This idea is not totally new to us as an organization, we have been working on this idea for now five years. However what is going to differs is the approach according to suggestions got from the beneficiaries. An academy/Talent Cultural Center will call for annual targets for both beneficiaries and the organization. These will include annual productions, concerts, international connections and travels among others. We are also to plan for the graduation process and the packages of those who have mastered the skills, maintain an excellent performing Troupe to be an ambassador of promoting cultural diversity and our idea to beneficiaries, clients and potential partners around the world.

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

The organization will be able to devote time to make this idea a reality. Rockies has been in existence for the last five years trying to realize this, though it has always been hindered by some resources. We have the human resource which is key, the passion and determination which has been able to bring us this far, now what remains is just the monetary resource to make the dream come true. We have worked with experts in this field and they are more than willing to continue working with us.

Rockies Organization gets young people from diverse cultures who share the richness of different cultures, share experiences ranging from art and ethnicity, poverty in their regions, religious persecution, domestic violence, abuse and neglect especially the girl child and turn them into hope and opportunities. Some have witnessed the atrocities of war and have been rendered refugees in their own country. Many have been denied a chance to interact with their native cultures and they struggle to integrate into an entirely foreign world, which does not give them a belonging and inspiration to uphold their values and respect for each other. Rockies identifies and unites talented diverse young people, so that a foundation of understanding, acceptance and compassion can be created, nurtured and shared by us and our next generation of citizens and leaders. By the time of graduation, a member is expected to have learnt at least a minimum of ten different dances from different cultures and regions, together with its instruments, music and is able to sow the appropriate costumes of those cultures, as well as making the jewelry that matches the costumes.  Many schools/institutions will need such a member as a trainer, Hotels can hire the troupe to offer their clients a beautiful, powerfully, lively, and extremely professional oversight of different cultures and tribes throughout Uganda and East Africa. And this formula may be replicated all over the continent. Such members can favorably compete in the employment market of performing & creative arts thus becoming self-reliant, thus addressing the unemployment challenge in the youth. 

Rockies Organization has invested its time in research and developing talents of less privileged young people across the country, in the field of performing and creative arts and advance their entrepreneurship skills to make them self-reliant. We have worked for five years now and we are fully registered. In addition to the skills we give to our beneficiaries, we also give them shelter, medication, feed them and take them for formal education to learn English language and a few other subjects that can help them in the day today life. When the world seems increasingly violent and polarized along nationality, faith and political beliefs, Rockies thinks that there is a need for people, especially youths to connect to each other and the world around them on a deeper and more compassionate level to understand each other and work together for development. At Rockies we defuse tensions among different tribes in the country as we embrace cultural diversity and build capacity and self-esteem of these young people, for them to be able to use their talents to gain financial independence.

Uganda is a signatory to the world convention on the protection and promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It reaffirm the importance of the link between culture and development for all countries, particularly for developing countries, and to support actions undertaken nationally and internationally to secure recognition of the true value of this link and also give recognition to the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning. These include the cultural music, dances, instruments, crafts among others.  Under the guiding principle (6); Cultural diversity is a rich asset for individuals and societies. The protection, promotion and maintenance of cultural diversity are an essential requirement for sustainable development for the benefit of the present and future generations. It is the very reason why Rockies Organization has invested its time and resources in the same, and we are sure we cannot go wrong. 

The Ugandan constitution under the cultural objectives says; "the state shall promote and preserve those cultural values and practices which enhance the dignity and well being of Ugandans". However this in Uganda is greatly lacking and not given priority. Rockies Organization intends to create awareness of such values in our cultures, share knowledge and expertise through performing and creative arts, documentaries and printed literature. We intend to inspire the youths to honor differences, explore commonalities and create one society united by values of love, respect, honesty, hard work, brotherhood and service through nurturing their God given talents in this field which best expresses our cultures. 

We thank our beneficiaries who have broaden our idea, that now we are going to institutionalize this into an academy, have an audio and video studio where these young adults will be recording their work for further promotion and marketing, and also increasing spaces and platforms for expression of their full potential.

We are also going to share our success stories and bio data, thus informing the world where we came from, where we are and our future in realizing our dream. We shall be able to upload a few of our videos and stories. Once again thank you for shaping our brains and thinking further to better our idea. 


SHARE ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THE IMPACT YOU WOULD LIKE THIS PROJECT TO HAVE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, AND ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER TO GET THERE.

A youth led cultural talent center with a well facilitated academy in performing and creative arts, that produces professional artists, to favorably compete on the global market. The question is; How to have a well facilitated academy that brings together talents spread all over the country, and facilitate them to become professional artists.

MY ORGANIZATION'S OPERATING BUDGET FOR 2015 WAS:

  • Under $100,000

MY INTENDED BENEFICIARIES ARE:

  • Within 50 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within 100 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within 500 km of where our team does most of its work

HOW LONG HAVE YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES BEEN WORKING ON THIS PILOT PROJECT TOGETHER?

  • More than a year

WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING AMPLIFY'S PORTFOLIO OF INNOVATORS?

Amplify promotes intellectual independence while using the Human Centered Design approach, which we are much interested in learning more about, and also share experiences with different innovators on how to provide solutions to a challenge of youth unemployment. We also expect to gain from the pool of resources within Amplify both human and financial, as well as global connections to improve youth individual livelihood for self sustenance
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Attachments (3)

rockies feedback.pdf

For the prototype, we used our client. A person who comes to hire a Troupe and she wants it to perform on her function. We concentrated on the most important questions which were asked by the final beneficiary of our services and products.

rockies experiences.pdf

Rockies as an organization has two types of beneficiaries. One are the less privileged young people, school drop outs, educated and semi educated youth. Some join after being desperate with lack of employment and education, how they hear information about the organization, how they join, get trained and finally present the skills acquired. Then the second Beneficiaries are the clients who buy our products and those are the ones we had to prototype.

Rockies Cert0003.jpg

This is the legal document to show the legality of Rockies Organization.

90 comments

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Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

We may not have the best words to explain, not even the best prototype to explain our idea, or we may even be not so good in story telling, but the fact remains that the need for a talent academy in our country for performing and creative arts in a necessity. The president of Uganda has recently launched a policy for the arts and the youth in our country, only that they are not put into practice, but even the government sees it as a necessity though they may not be able to implement. Statistics have shown that this industry contributes over 7% of the total GDP globally and nearly one billion USD was collected as revenue in Uganda from this industry.

We only need to be given where to stand and the world will see the beauty of developing God given talents and using them to develop ourselves leaning on our cultures which is one of the things that brings about cohesion and pride in any community. We wish everyone of you good luck in this challenge.

Photo of Namukisa Hellen
Team

" Culture is pride" as a motto for Rockies organization goes. I am in total agreement with the idea of advancing Rockies organization, to an academy of performing and creative arts. It means a lot to me many young people have travelled to different parts of the world because of their talents, me inclusive it has helped me meet high profile people who have inspired me to remain focused and has also helped me learn to express myself .
Talent once developed can help those who are not employed to get employment and earn a living. Through performing arts I have managed to pay my tuition and at least get a side income apart from my monthly salary. I have traveled to many different parts of the world because of art and it has taught me how to live advance cultures.
I happen to be a member of Rockies organization and thank the Rockies for having helped me discover who I am and what I can do to help the young generation understand the importance of talents in one’s life. Therefore I call upon our government and partners to put more effort in talent developing which will help more youth not to look for jobs but rather be employed by their talents.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Hellen is one of the beneficiaries of Rockies Organization, she can confess what she has gone thru and how life has changed because of developing her talent, within a period of three years, her life has totally changed in that positive sense and she can now stand on her own, educate herself more in case she desires, but most importantly, sustain herself with her talent.

Thank you very much Hellen for being a witness of the truth. We have more members being contracted to China and even Hellen maybe among the ones to go next near, because the market is big but lacks professionals in performing. It is what we are doing to groom them and make them professionals for them to be taken on.

Photo of alex ssengeye
Team

Dear Brian and Rockies team, thank you for the initiative, the love to empower the youth using their talents while embracing cultural diversity is one of its kind that every person would be proud of you basing on their different cultures.
In my own opinion, I would look at Rockies talent academy once started, as one of the initiative to solve youth unemployment problem in our country. I happen to have studied and finished my degree, but I moved in offices and streets looking for jobs until when I gave up. My other colleagues even had masters degree but they were unemployed until when I went back to develop my talent and it has helped me earn a living. With a talent you don’t need degrees, even those who never went to school can sustain themselves and become successful provided their talents are developed, after all even quality is education is expensive in our country.
So in conclusion, I thank the Rockies team for having thought wise to come up with such an idea which has been lacking in our country. You have our prayer and we shall support whenever needed.

Photo of Julius Josa
Team

Thank you alex ssengeye, i strongly agree with solving youth unemployment problem in uganda by making creative and performing arts a professional, and this can only be done by creating a talent academy and i pray that the first talent academy is ROCKIES TALENT ACADEMY

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Alex, its true that in Uganda, its not about education these days, its the technical know who than the technical know how, therefore if we develop people's talents, they will learn how to move on with their careers and employ themselves than looking for jobs which even do not exist. Many kill themselves even with masters degrees because they are frustrated. Therefore if the talent academy is started in uganda, it can help a lot in solving the problem of youth unemployment.

Photo of Emily Molzan
Team

Many of the sentiments stated in your application are applicable to the population we work with in Tanzania as well, street-youth. We believe that providing a space and opportunity for youth to express themselves is key for self-sustainability and growth. What is the specific population you access for beneficiaries?

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you very much Pamoja for your compliment, indeed, it is a very big challenge in our country for the youth to lack these spaces and platforms to develop and exercise their abilities. Our target beneficiaries are the less privileged young people. These include orphans, school dropouts, refugees and those who come from very poor families that cannot support them in any way. 

Photo of Ahmed Hadji
Team

Thanks Brian for such a brilliant idea. I see Rockies Talent Centre commit to providing creative, innovative visual art, craft and design education to young people and educators of differing abilities in an inspiring environment that embraces change and diversity and working in collaboration with other institutions.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you so much Ahmed, you have been a youth leader and you have worked with the youth for a long period of time. You understand what youth unemployment means, and you know how talents can help the youth in building their career and even be employed by their talents. It is the reason why Rockies is concentrating on mobilizing and developing talents of the youth of this country. We just need partners to work with in order to elevate its growth.

Photo of Julius Josa
Team

Thank you Mr Ssozi for this wonderful idea. The creative arts industry is the fastest growing sector in uganda and could be worth more than $1 billion in year by 2016, This creates jobs in music, poetry, crafts and paintings film and theatre through talent developing. Investing in creative arts ALSO creates jobs higher employee satisfaction. BUT this is hindered by lack of talent academies in the country that empower the youth to develop their talents.
This idea Mr. Ssozi is bringing us the youth together since it also involves different cultures.

Am talented and i have seen the Rockies on different occasions performing and i would like to join the troupe so that i improve on my talent. WHAT CAN I DO?
I love to make this my profession because I can't starve and my family, according to research i have made there is 100% AVAILABLE JOBS due to the wide demand of creative arts in Uganda.
Thank you so much once again for such an amazing idea, you have changed me and every ugandan life.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Julius, thank you so much for taking an extra mile of even making this research, when you mentioned that the creative industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Uganda, which could be worth more than 1 billion USD by 2016.
This inspired me to make further research and the findings I am going to include them in our final refining. I thank the organizations that came up with the Youth Manifesto of 2016 - 2021. Little did I know that 1.3 trillion USD was made in 2005 globally from this field of creative and performing arts, and that contributes more than 7% of the total global GDP according to (2009 UWR) Cultural heritage does not only generate income, but also builds social cohesion, mobilizing communities around its care and management. This confirms how many talented youth are going to be employed in this sector once it is developed. It is point number four on the five points of the Youth Manifesto of Uganda.

Once again thank you Julius for inspiring me further and once this program kicks off, I am sure you will be among the first beneficiaries.

Photo of Julius Josa
Team

Thank you so much Mr. Ssozi i will be very happy when am considered.
In uganda today a girl child face a lot of problems like forced marriage, early pregnancy, illiteracy, and many more, do you have any plan of helping the young mothers of the country? .
thank you so much.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Julius, thank you for being concerned about the girl child of this country, the saying goes that educate a girl child, educate the Nation, literally meaning that if u educate a girl child, you would have equally educated the Nation, due to the fact that they are the mothers of the Nation. Among the reasons that bring about forced marriage,and early pregnancy, is lack of career guidance and poverty. When parents are poor and cannot support their kids in school, the children drop out of schools and they end up forcefully sending them to be married, such that they can get some dourly. Likewise when the adults get idle lacking what to do, they end up in peer groups which can spoil them into smoking, drinking and the like. By the time they realise, they are pregnant or even infected with HIV/AIDS.

Our approach to this is turning our organisation into an academy that can help to give proper career guidance to the youth including those in schools and outside schools deep in villages, but also develop talents of those who are talented in the field of Arts and advance their entrepreneurship skills, for them to be self reliant. By so doing, we would have reduced on the rate of forced marriages, early pregnancies but most importantly the unemployment rate in the youth of this country.

Photo of Kaviri Harrison
Team

Thanks Brian and Team for this, we need to invest heavily in ideas such and as these and creating spaces through which conversations that build on organizing and mobilization efforts towards building strong citizen movements can be advanced and your idea is just for our fragile democracy. This is particularly important for Young populations that need more engaging tools to enable them to participate in policy and decision making processes. The use of performing arts is one such way to mobilize young people in their diversity to engage as these are spaces that remain underutilized in as far as promoting active citizenship is concerned. It is my hope that you are considered for this
Ali Kaviri
Youth Equality Centre (YEC)

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Harrison, we thank you for your contribution, you are a policy maker and a governor. Thank you for realising the importance of embracing cultural diversity in peace building and mobilization, and the need to utilise the underutilised resources and platforms. working together to realise this will help us achieve our goals in the shortest period of time possible. We believe in starting small and growing big, lets start from where we are, use what we have to achieve our desired goals.

Photo of Chelsea Takamine
Team

Hi Brian and Team! Amplify and our experts have some comments and questions for you - we encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea.

-What excites me about the idea is the youth spending their time focusing on cultural activities, learning about their diversity, and being proactive in the face of their unemployment. It's a great way to change a negative situation into a positive one.
-This seems strongly aligned with user needs - it is very plausible that there are many creative young people in Uganda without access to support or guidance for their careers.
-I think this idea comes from a good place at the heart of people, and it uses what brings happiness and pride to people as its output into the world. Beautiful sentiments and effort. I appreciate how Ssozi and the team asked for feedback and welcomed all suggestions.
-Some of the ideas will require a lot of resources - restaurant, museum, the academy itself, the global marketing. How will a small amount of grant funding catalyse the next step?
-How will the Academy sustain itself financially?
-How will you provide youth with networks of potential job placements and offerings that could turn this into an income generation tool for the end users?

In case you missed it, OpenIDEO and Amplify hosted a Storytelling Office Hour - https://youtu.be/g0gZRR6T9tA. Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and help make it come to life! Don't forget - December 18th is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Chelsea and the Amplify Team, we thank you very much for the time you have committed to our idea, thank you for the analysis and comments, we are already working on improving our idea according to the concerns you raised, to see it through to the best five ideas. Thank you for being a humanitarian, thus a people of people.

We are clearly going to show the link between entrepreneurship + creativity + effort and pride in African values and culture for a long term sustainable economic growth with added social value. For the concern of having many things to do, I am glad to say that we have watched the story telling video & we are to concentrate on that one thing which is the Academy, that we need to start with in order to achieve the rest, we are refining all these and soon we shall publish

Then the concern of sustainability, Rockies has been in existence for a period of five years now, training youth in creative and performing arts while supporting them to even acquire formal education. During this period, the organization has been able to send eight of its members to China this year, where they have got contracts of five years each. They are well paid as professionals and their lives with their families have already changed. The parks in China need more performers every year but we are always limited by enough resources to have many youth trained.

In the course of the year, the organization gets clients who come and pay for its performances to their functions. These can be individuals, organizations, companies, the state among others. Often times, we get like five clients booking one day because of our quality, but the man power is limited to one function, meaning we loose out on the rest which would be an opportunity for the rest of the youth out there.

Why Rockies Talent Academy, there are some groups which do half barked work in this field and these kill the market of performing art or cultural entertainment in our country and beyond. With the academy, these youth groups will also be given the chance to be trained, such that they are able to put on quality productions, and in so doing our services will be marketed even more.

Then the global marketing should not worry us, though its good to be concerned. The world is now becoming a global village, provided you have quality work, with a well built website, and active social media, this is the beginning of global marketing. This year the 18th of June, we performed for an International community in their retreat of Yoga at speek resort Munyonyo, it had an audience of nearly 400 people.The brilliant performance that our Team put up made SADHGURU to dance. The whole community had never seen this happening, this won the Team an invitation to go and perform for over 8 million people in New Delhi next year in February. All the big media houses will be there and they will have to report about our performance, who knows who will be watching in the audience and the connections that can be got from there? (Global connection)

That aside, as such opportunities come in, even clients at home continue to need such services, now if many youth are trained, and exposed to such opportunities, they can have money to sustain themselves and even to invest in other ventures if need be. When they start performing professionally, the organization pays them, secondary it connects them to institutions, schools, organisations that need trainers which is employment and also the international connections.

We also hope to get connections to universities that have students who do international studies majoring in sub Saharan regions to create links that their students can always come and do research about different cultures and art with our organization, and in return, some revenue is brought to the organization for the youth. Also participating in international festivals annually can open up more opportunities.

Then lastly, the training one undergoes, builds her capacity. At the academy we teach them how to express themselves, give them platforms to practice this, teach them how to make shoes, jewelry, tailoring of costumes, making instruments in addition to the performing arts. Immediately one learns how to make any of these, she starts getting clients who may give her orders for African outfits and others, in so doing, she gets money thus advancing entrepreneurship skills. All these avenues bring in revenue to sustain the academy and develop further to achieve her long term goals. We know that Rome was not built in one day, and a journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step. Lets put our focus on Rockies Talent Academy which will be well facilitated to facilitate the youth develop their talents, stimulate creativity and further discoveries in new cultural horizons, then the rest can be achieved.

Once again, I thank you very much Chelsea and the Amplify team for your commitment and time to see the youth develop.

Photo of Manana Birabi
Team

I think the issue is more having the wrong career guidance. The Education system brands core academia as important and sidelines the creative and performing arts, categorising them as co-curricular activities. The government is on a drive to promote sciences with little emphasis on promoting the arts. As a result many people including the artists themselves don’t see creative and performing as a career but rather as a hobby. I know many talented artists who are doing accounting or engineering jobs and have completely thrown out the arts. When asked why many will tell you that they can’t survive off the arts.
This tells you about the issue at hand which is the system.
The artistic process or value chain needs to be complete, the development of a system around the arts especially marginalized art forms like indigenous music and dance. Corporate and Media companies pump tons of money into pop art forms that are not as artistically rich as the sort of Music that Rockies performs. Unlike a some parts of Africa, Europe and the states, Uganda has absolutely no functional local system or funding in place for heritage and non-conventional arts. Leaving the fate of the non conventional art forms to be determined by a purely commercial driven system.Therefore there is urgent need to create a functional system that focuses on developing non-conventional art forms. The main segments in this chain would be 1-Discovery and scouting, 2-skills development/training, 3-recording, 4-promotion, 5-Mentorship to ensure continuity.
Rockies’s idea is brilliant; it scouts and discovers new artists, trains them with practical skills and promotes them through events and platforms. This is a substantial contribution to the artistic process.
It would take a lot for an organisation to cover all the segments in the chain effectively and that’s why I think that Rockies should specialise in the above mentioned three segments. The gap can be filled through strategic partnerships with organisations that have specialized in other segments.
The three segments if well-developed having in mind tourism, schools outreach and merchandising among others, can cut out a niche for Rockies.
I happened to be in the audience at Rockies's ground breaking concert at Obliugato and ever since I love the passion, energy and the genuine desire to grow the arts and empower others. The Rockies ideology is not a selfish one and I really like that! All the best!

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Manana, I may not have the right words to express our gratitude to the analysis you have made in this regard, no wonder you have helped many to grow and even organized international festivals. You know what talent means and you you its importance, thank you for believing in our idea and acknowledging that it can add value to community.

I desire the way you brought all this to light, how the systems in place have not been supporting the art industry. Then also when you segmented the processes and the role of Rockies, you broadened my thinking, that if we concentrated on scouting and discovering new artists, trains them with practical skills and promotes them through events and platforms.Its the reason why we are lobbying to develop our organization into an academy to help develop and train these young people into professional artists for self sustenance. But also importantly, thank you for recognizing the need for partnerships if we are to achieve our desired goal.

Once again allow me to thank you Mr Manana for your contribution, but most importantly for the support you are giving to the young artists under your organisation Milege. Together we can, Yes we can.

Photo of Magala J P
Team

hello paco,
to begin with the first question.
when i join the rockies talent center expect to receive skills in craft making like the making of necklaces, kitengi designs and more from there.
question two
after receiving those skills from the academy and mine ideas, i can start up a crafts shop and earn my self clean and much money from the craft sales. also from the performing arts like acting, playing instruments and it can also help me to make a good music carrier which can also be a source of financial support throug writting good music for other people an institutions and i get paid. that's the reason why i need to join the rockies talent center. thank you very much

Photo of Paco Ohad Loffler
Team

In order to refine the last touches I would recommend going around it as following:

· Chelsea and the team mention some interesting comments, focus on the following:
-- Education and pro-activity are fundamental parts of the project, explain the link between pride of the African culture and heritage, and ceasing to admire Western role models together with initiative and entrepreneurship may make significant changes on the long run.
-- As for the academy as a project, explain how it will run its costs and incomes. Make clear how it will sustain itself. It is possible that it will take time to cut it´s costs even, explain how long this will take if it it the case. Make sure to believe in your words and be as transparent as possible, as I know you will be.

It is possible to divide this into time segments. Perhaps start with fundamental or core parts of the project to start off with, such as theatre / training area, housing for students, feeding costs, etc. You have experience in this, it is not new to you! Next stage could be studio, restaurant, museum. However you configure it, make sure to demonstrate how the numbers work out so that it will be clear that it is viable and worth investing in.
-- End users or graduate students. These are the cause for the project to run. Explain how they will sustain themselves, how this project will have improved their livelihoods and the repercussion it had in East African society. This is tricky because entrepreneurship is extremely vast, and as diverse as imagination itself. I believe it is enough to illustrate how a graduate may use their skills. Don't forget to mention how this will contribute to society as a whole.

· Before editing anything, go back to the guidelines of the project, designing principles and winning ideas. Keep these in mind as you re-edit the text, it´s worth writing them down or printing them out. And as Chelsea Takamine mentions, revisit the Storytelling office hour if necessary.

- The prototype of 3 months is worth elaborating a little bit on. Take the scenario that you made it, and have 3 months to demonstrate that your idea works. How do you go about it. This I believe is a bonus more than a necessity.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Paco, you finally nailed the nail my Munene, thanks for this wonderful insight and critical analysis in Chelsea's comments with Team. Lets try to redefine the idea, make it visual and then see how it can best be presented in these last few days. I thank you for your time and great contributions, I am glad to note that you still believe in our idea and you strongly believe it is worthy. Let us continue working hard to make this come to pass.

Once again, thank you very much my brother in development.

Photo of Tumwesigye Augustine
Team

Rockies Organization, I congratulate you upon having made it to this phase and now it’s high time that you concentrated on developing your idea further. First of all, I am in total agreement with your idea of talent developing that can help to a certain extent, reduce the rampant unemployment in the youth of the country. Since it is a hands on training, by the time one is through with his training, he is able to do something, however, think about the following aspects critically. One, how you can work hand in hand with the government or make them your close partners although they may not help much, but it will help you as an organization not to be frustrated by the politicking within the country. Secondary think about the curriculum of this program, here I can give some assistance if need be because I am an expert in this field. Then the other thing is that in all that u do, take also the idea of making movies serious, simply because we have a lot of untold stories in our country basing on our cultures. We have not seen musical movies being acted within our country, blended with our cultural instruments and dances which can be on a very high market within and outside the country. Otherwise I wish you God’s blessings and success in this challenge.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Augustine, thank you so much for the observation. Indeed its true that if you are against the government you may be frustrated, however we have been working with the government, the state minister for youth and children is our good friend and whatever we are doing is not against the government, in fact we are helping it on the burden of the many youth who are unemployed. In the line of curriculum, we shall strongly need your support Augustine because these are some of the unanswered questions we had. Then for the movies, we are now very passionate about this and we hope to achieve this in the near future. Otherwise thank you so much for your contributions, they are more than appreciated.   

Photo of Paco Ohad Loffler
Team

Movies can be an amazing addition and on the long run will attract foreign funding. I think it fits very well the mission of the Rockies. Mpola mpola, I'm sure we will reach everything we are aiming at.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

It is true Paco that most of the activities in this field are inter-connected. One leads to the other and they can simply be coordinated with ease. When you visited Africa, I am sure that you saw the availability of human capital/resource and the only thing that was lacking is the financial capital, now once that is got, development can not fail to kick start. We have a lot of untold stories in our country which are very interesting, but we lack how to communicate them to the rest of the world due to lack of some resources. But it is a great idea and in line with our mission as you said it.

Photo of Magala J P
Team

i think art is the reason why most of us live. art changes sadness to happiness, imaginations to reality and from nothing to something i have liked art for all my life and i will forever. 

when a person is into art and needs support trust me its worth supporting them  because art never lies. thank you very much for empowering the youth and supporting them. i would also like to join the troupe because i have always liked working with you because of your good work. thank you very much #artdna #rockiestroupeuganda i would love to see you go all the way up

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you very much Magala J P, for your kind words. We appreciate your love for art and the future you see in what we are doing, hopefully when the program of the academy starts, you will be among the first entrants into the program. You could also share with us your view about how you would love to see the academy work. Rockies is an interest based organization by its beneficiaries, ours is to facilitate these talents to a level of professionalism. So when you share with us, it help us come up with what will interest you but well facilitated not to loose focus. Otherwise thank you so much for your contribution, we dearly appreciate.    

Photo of Paco Ohad Loffler
Team

Hi Magala,

We can really use your help :) Maybe you could answer these 2 questions for us:

What would you expect to receive from the Rockies Talent Center?

How would you envision using the talents you gain in the academy to bring income?

Thank you!

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Yes Paco, I also agree with you, Oscar should let us know what his expectations are when he is given a chance to join Rockies Talent Academy, and how you are to use the gained skills and knowledge to sustain yourself financially.

Photo of Lilian Dhamz
Team

Good idea Brian.Having witnessed the vigor of your team and your tea spirit as a leader,i know you can pull this off.I haven't seen so many teams with young people that are forcused like you here in Uganda.Minus that,the idea you have is brilliant.I wish you all the best.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Much thanks Lilian, we all pray for the best, but what is very key and important to learn here is the HCD approach, its a great and wonderful approach to addressing challenges of our communities. I am very certain that this time round, we are going to be more relevant to our communities than ever before.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Ayub, I thank you for your critical analysis of our idea. You brought in a very meaningful and interesting statement(Transiting culture and traditions to the future generations). I think this is very key and its one of the best ways we can pass on our history to the future generations. For embracing cultural diversity that is indeed basic and its one of our pillars, and when all is well done, revenues must flow in for the youth to be self reliant. 
Once again, thank you so much for your contribution, it will reshape our one sentence to become better. 

Photo of Ayub Kiranda
Team

Dear Brian,
I would love to see Rockies in the next five years as an African cultural centre/academy, where different cultural dances and practices across the continent are trained and preserved for financial benefits to the youth but also importantly for the benefit of the future generation (Transiting culture and traditions to the future generations).

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Team members, just help us read through our answer on this question and see if it best describes what you think about our idea; (SHARE ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THE IMPACT YOU WOULD LIKE THIS PROJECT TO HAVE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, AND ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER TO GET THERE.) The answer is above and also which question do you think we need to answer before we put our answer?

If you also have any other suggestions on this question; (WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING AMPLIFY'S PORTFOLIO OF INNOVATORS?) kindly contribute as we are in our last beats. Otherwise we thank you so much for all your contributions, may the good Lord continue blessing you.  

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Mr Muhereza Rivan Peter, I strongly agree with whatever you have said, because we believe that whenever you meet new people, expect to learn something new, so getting a chance to meet experts, of course a lot will be achieved. The point of global connections has been mentioned but what is key is the aspect of credibility that you have mentioned about. Everyone would love to know the people you have been working with in order to give you business or any kind of support.

This is where I am crediting AMPLIFY, for it, it looks at the potential and visibility of the idea, then it facilitates you to achieve your intended goal. We think in this error it is very key to facilitate people develop their ideas, than dictating on what they must do in order to develop. Every human being has potential to grow or develop once guided or given resources, it is the very reason why We have credited and loved the Human Centered Design approach, it is among the best approaches we have seen. The beneficiary tells you what she thinks, discuss with her and get a better approach to the problem than sitting in offices and one thinks he is the custodian of everything and all the knowledge that is needed.

Once again thank you so much for your contribution, we really need to add the aspect of credibility to the point though we are given few characters to express all this.  

Photo of Muhereza Rivan Peter
Team

Dear Rockies, we thank the Lord for where you have reached so far. My other thinking for your interest in joining the Amplify's portfolio could be the boot-camp session, I had a chance to share with a friend one time what happens in boot camps, there is a lot of knowledge that you cannot afford to miss which will help build your capacity and empower or prepare you for better opportunities and connections worldwide. The experts they bring to train you and the experiences they share with you, lift your level of thinking and understanding of issues to become very objective in whatever you are doing.

Then also Amplify being an organization with a credible profile (background), it will increase your credibility as well and will build trust in other organizations that would love to work with you in the near future. This again increases your chances of getting global connections, otherwise I pray that all goes well and achieve your goals, for you are very passionate about what you are doing, wish you God's blessings.

Photo of Angela Moreno
Team

Dear Rockies, dear Ssozi, 

Congratulations!! I am so glad to see you reaching higher and higher. You have been selected among so many participants and gotten a privileged position so far. You deserve it, and i wish you all the best with the next steps! I also see so many contributions, which makes me incredibly happy.

It is not only the spirit of family that you transmit, but also hard work and sacrifice. Engage with each other and with the audience as you do, because that keeps you alive. Engage with other teams as well, to work together and achieve common goals. Engage, share, and move forward! 

Your team spirit and effort is undoubtedly something that keeps you together and pushes you even further. Please continue so and do not give up! You are truly special.

With love, 
Angela.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Angela, thank you so much for the love and encouraging words, and  the emphasis of Team work and consultation which matches our slogan. "We work as a Team and achieve as a Team". We shall keep engaging and consulting forever, for art is not static, but continues to grow everyday that goes by. We appreciate the time you spare to go through other people's contributions as well to scrutinize their views, I am sure together we can make it a reality.   

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Yes Jackline thank you for your compliment, Its true we are now here, 100 ideas yes, but how do we refine our idea to make it more viable is the biggest question I am raising now. Do not make me think that all is well now with our idea, I feel we can make it better still through your contributions, thank you.

Photo of jackline nalunkuma
Team

Its  good that you went though & you were among the best 100.Get more stills for better results.Dont   hope you can still make it.Be Blessed......

Photo of Faisal Musiige
Team

Its a brilliant idea. It will impact positively on youths as the music and art industry has no limitations as to one's education/semi literate, or social background. It will definitely give the youth another shot at life.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you very much Faisal, being a lawyer, you have ideas almost on each and everything. I am sure you are going to be so resourceful as always when it comes to the legal terms on how to make this a success. Thank you for embracing our idea.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Team members, when I was walking down a suburb called Nateete, I found very many talented young people over the weekend trying out to help themselves develop. I discussed with them what they thought could help them develop further their carriers. They told me if they had access to studios and producers, their music would be recorded and then played on radios to get promoters to promote their careers. They also said, they lack instruments to use if they may want to train and be great artists. They further told me that even though you have a good song and maybe one helps you to record it, it becomes another big challenge to have a platform or space where you can showcase your talent. These words really touched my heart.

Then still over the weekend, I was invited on three schools to go and attend their speech days. Reaching these schools, I was amazed by the talents these young men and women had, they were performing with passion, though competitive, but you would see the love within their presentation, though row but very promising. When I stood to talk and asked how many would love to join our Team Rockies, almost everyone was in agreement knowingly or unknowingly. Now my minds run back to the proposed academy of performing and creative arts we plan to do. I promised to keep in touch with them and see how we can help them develop their talents.

Young people in Uganda indeed have amazing talents, we just need to help them develop these talents. Whoever has an idea on how best we can develop the concept of this academy, please you are most welcome. you can either post it here or send me an email in my inbox in case you don't want to publish your contribution. I will always be grateful for your contributions and support towards this cause.

Photo of Pius
Team

(This is a continuation of my first posted comment. It is the last paragraph)
We have as of now got to know that Uganda's majority population is the unemployed youth. This poses a danger to many at-risk-children. If we do not help out Brian achieve his goals, we shall certainly continue to promote early pregnancies in teens, dropout in schools, child abuse or molestation, kidnappings, child sacrifice, and a society of unskilled people. Brian and his team have truly explained to us who they are, where they have been and where they plan to go. Can we go their together? The future of a better country depends entirely and massively on a wise investment in our youth. An uneducated community is a dangerous community indeed. Let is us create more "Brians" in Uganda and in the entire world. I gave them the vision and the skills and with your support they can equip others with knowledge and growth. Together we can raise a village. The Rockies Ensemble is for all of us who love progress of the human soul. The soul in truth is a soul in peace and love.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Papa Pius, I am certain that in the United States where you are, a lot of strategies have been laid to tap into the talents of young people, and many I am sure have been employed by their talents. In Uganda as a country, our government has not put much attention of developing talents of the citizens in their different diversities. This has led everyone in the country to think about a white color Job which are very limited to the technical know who and to a lesser extent how. Therefore if we want to reduce the rampant unemployment in the youth, it is key that we concentrate on developing their talents and this to a certain extent will take a portion of some youth who may be unemployed but talented. Thank you once again for your critical thinking and for contributing to our dream and great idea.   

Photo of Pius
Team

First of all, I am so grateful to the Almighty God who affords us to do all that we do on a daily basis! Secondly, I am overwhelmingly proud for the work of the Rockies Ensemble. One would certainly wonder where Ssozi Andrew Brian got this idea to start such an amazing project to change the lives of the vulnerable kids in a developing country like Uganda! I know Brian personally. I raised him together with other 20 plus boys, who in many ways they were just like those kids you see with pens and notebooks or probably worse than then. With very little on our hands, we worked at the then all boys primary school known as St. Paul Kitovu Primary School. Today the school is co-ed but continues to educate the children of Uganda. I started working there in November of 1991 and left the place to travel for studies in the United States at the end of January 1995. It is this place that I call magical that raised the vibrant youths whose talents in music, dance, and drama under my leadership and training changed their lives and probably affected the education life in Masaka District as whole.
At the time, it was hardly heard of that mere boys would put on a show and left many in amazement. The tradition was always that girls are more musically and dramatically better or skilled than boys. Until two schools I was involved in those early days of my teaching career. One was St. Vincent Kyamaganda Boys Primary School where I only spent a year and half after my teacher training college and then Kitovu Boys. My purpose was to change that traditional thinking that put girls on the hilltop which left many boys some of whom were more talented but got ridiculed by society if they were seen singing or dancing. I wanted to put the spark into the minds of boys to own their talents too. One would say I indoctrinated them. I would not disagree. But what that did, it empowered these boys to an extent where they became the masters certainly of music, dance and drama up to this present day. It became part of their daily life. It was a goal, a mission, and philosophy. Not only did they excel in the skills but they became capable leaders and zealous human beings. Such skills were transferred into other learning environments and became a source of learning and total growth.

This mission and philosophy did not end in the class, stage, and other performing places but rather it entered in the fabric of each one's life and those around them. Many of that intact group of boys are still doing very well changing the lives of others without forgetting the journey they went through to be where they are today.
That perfect example is in Ssozi Andrew Brian. He is now a man with a huge heart. He is giving back in thanksgiving on what he was given many years ago. He is a workaholic as he was those years back. He remembers the sweat, the heat, the rain, but also the joys and all achievements let alone the many trophies they won and a record of excellence and legacy they left at St. Paul Kitovu Boys, that magical place that turned poor and vulnerable boys into indomitable men we have today. I am so proud about all these achievements but most importantly I am happy of the continued zeal for these young men as they continue to touch and change lives along the way of life.

I am inviting you to look into the eyes of these boys and girls whose images are posted in the above pages. In each and every eye, soul, and heart there is untapped hidden hope. There is a journey that is beginning to bulge. There is potential that needs to be cultivated. Brian can do too little without our help, our resources, our inspiration and above all our love for making the lives of these kids worthwhile. We must look beyond the stages where these kids perform but get to know the story of each and everyone of them. If we do that we will capture and treasure a beauty of sacrifice, the shed of tears, the agony of being without a mother or father, the pain of missing a meal, the desire of wanting to be in school or the lack of simple colds or flue medication.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Papa Pius for the parental guidance and the time committed to this cause, your words are beyond our idea and too human and love field. Indeed its true when you hear the change stories of Rockies members, you feel the Love and the open hearts trying to push this idea. We shall include some of these stories in our profiles, such that people can listen and feel the faith and hope built in these young adults. I thank you Papa Pius, for you started the light in me way back when I was still a kid, I was watching every step of life and the beauty about it. I found out that our greatest true happiness would be expressed in impacting people's souls. How many lives can you touch to make them better, how many souls can you rescue from destruction. Its the only legacy one can leave behind and remains forever. Once again thank you for your contribution. 

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

In a very special way, allow me to thank everyone who has contributed to our idea to make it a better idea. We have learnt a lot and got a lot of experience during our interactions in the conversations we had. Its indeed great working and developing ideas together, looking at the possible ways of improving your idea and being helped by the same community to shape the idea. Once again, a big thank you for whoever has contributed to this cause. For all the organizations that are participating, without you, there wouldn't be any comparison. I pray we keep in touch as we hope for the best. 

Photo of Kyabaggu Martin
Team

Indeed this is the best i have ever seen and i believe we are all   beneficiaries in the work your are doing.
Developing and Professionalizing in Talents  is the best and will always be the best ,so Rockies  big up.
love you big

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Prince Kyabaggu for the compliment, we believe that once talents are developed, unemployment will seize to be the anthem of the country. 

Photo of Nasser Alivin
Team

I was blessed to be among the audience of your first annual concert, which you named “Make Them Smile”. What I saw was all very good but lacked a few things to make it very successful. I don’t know how much you got, but I think it did not yield much due to the following; First You did not have what to sale to your fans besides the brilliant performances you put on stage. You needed to maybe have a video or audio CD which people could buy as they support your cause. Secondary you needed other tangible products like crafts and the like such that you can have reasonable earnings at the end of the day. So I will strongly agree with the beneficiaries who suggested to you that you should reorganize the way you make your concert to be a harvest concert of the organization from the compiled work of the whole year. It can even be called an Annual Cultural Festival, looking beyond a concert. Otherwise we applaud your idea of talent developing and in Uganda you cannot go wrong with such an idea if well planned and implemented

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you so much dear Nasser for the observation, true we did not get much funds from the concert but we drew a lot of lessons, that one being among the many. For the case of audio and movie CD, when the academy starts, we shall have the resources to enable us record the works of the organization and next time we shall have them ready. Once again thank you so much for your contribution. 

Photo of Katie Bunten-Wren
Team

What a fabulous idea! I love the emphasis on retaining culture and building creative talent in youth.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Katie, thank you so much for your compliment, it is believed that a person without culture is like a tree without roots. In Africa, what has remained intact and in plenty are our cultures which are expressed in creative and performing arts, now when an opportunity is given to further its development, youth can use this as a source of income and will not have to be unemployed any more. Once again thank you for your time to read through our idea. 

Photo of Paco Ohad Loffler
Team

Dear Rockies, I like the way this is going! I still do have some points that I would like to share with you:

-EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA-
· I would avoid the word "just" (as in "We just need to professionalize these talents, create spaces for expression,.."). Life will always serve us with challenges. Different phases present different challenges. Let's embrace them and never underestimate them.

· Can you show other ways the academy can deal with unemployment?

Rockies Academy
- Teaching, direct employment
- Events 
-- Religious / political / conferences
-- Tourism
-- Cultural gatherings
- Hotels

- TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU -
· Add some more information about Ssozi and the troupe members. Stories. Practising routines. Awards. Success stories. These things will help people conceptualise what the academy is going to do. What kind of people it will help and will make it more tangible.

- HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE? -
· Besides of arts and dance, how does Rockies teach entrepreneurial skills? 
· Rockies make their own instruments and cultural outfits.
· Consider visiting and perhaps collaborating / partnering with SINA (Social Innovation Academy) Uganda.

- WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HAS NOT BEEN SOLVED? -
· Define the problem openly and shortly. It will help people understand what you are tackling at large.

Lastly, Keirungii Donna  I agree that the bias to professionals in the performances world is a threat. After meeting the Rockies I am not too concerned about this materialising with them specifically, because there is a good role model present, Ssozi Brian. But once institutionalised it will be difficult to have more than one good role model. Therefore, it would be of interest to work with social workers, which is one of the points I wanted to make. Structurally, this could help avoid social problems and diminish the effects if there are problems which naturally may stem from youth with troubled backgrounds. 

I am very much looking forward to see this project succeed. Specifically, I am eager to find out how a proud Uganda, not in terms of nationality per se, but in terms of real human and social capital will change the way my Western world works. I am deeply looking forward to these contributions!

Remaining faithfully yours,
Paco

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Paco, if I was a university, I would award you a PHD in critical thinking. Whatever you have said, is real and applicable in sharpening our idea, lets work upon those areas of concern to make our idea better and well explained. Otherwise thank you for the time you have committed to this cause. I again agree with you on what Donna raised and your suggestion of working with social workers, I know you will never leave us alone, we are going to work together with the rest of the Team members and the community to see this idea come to pass. Once again I thank you for raising such brilliant suggestions to better our idea.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

The other thing Paco is that, the space given to talk about us and the change stories, awards and the like is very limited, in fact it can only take those words I have put there, nothing more, however if given another opportunity, I think I will be able to write about these change stories and members themselves can write them as well because it is about them, otherwise thank you so much for your contributions, we have already made the necessary changes. 

Photo of Gerald Majera Tamale
Team

I love the Rockies; they know the thing and most importantly, developing the young talents. The future of many young girls and boys of unclear backgrounds have become very brilliant and promising through the work of the Rockies Troupe. I love you people, I wish I can contribute to your endeavours in any way possible.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you very much Gerald for the compliment, you become one in many when you appreciate our work, Jesus healed 10 people but only one came back to say thank you. This gives us strength and stay more focused when the community gives us feedback of positive impact by our organization, be blessed bro. 

Photo of Keirungii Donna
Team

This idea is very ideal given the not-tapped talent languishing in our country Uganda. But my fear is one,  there is a large bias to professional singers and dancers. The young talented dancers tend to be associated with social immorality and the young boys are generally associated with alcohol and drug abuse. I wonder if Rockies provides some personal administrative advice and skill to the young men and women who subscribe to it. Or associated to a church for spiritual growth and nourishment. Otherwise the initiative is one of its own kind.
Thanks

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Donna, we thank you foe yet another dimension of concern you have brought in. This is very true and evident that most artist are associated in immorality, however I do not want to believe that they are professional performers per say, because professionalism takes discipline and good discipline. Yes they penetrated in this field and became successful but were not trained and never passed through any academy or training school of this field. I believe the Lord helped them and made it by themselves in life. However, we have great artists within the country who are well disciplined and morally upright. Who have got good disciplines and are role models to many, these are the ones to be looked at than the immoral ones.

Then the aspect of religion, I said earlier that we work with religious institutions to identify the right beneficiaries. This does not only stop at identifying them, but also in grooming them. We have these sessions of counselling and spiritual growth, which are done by religious leaders and professional counselors, to help guide the young ones. We are just going to strengthen it and do it often to keep these youth on track.

Otherwise, I once again thank you for this great concern, which is key because it is one of the challenge we have got in the community, thinking that even these young adults maybe spoilt or driven away by the waves of immorality. We shall also try to create a relationship with rehabilitation centers which can help us in such cases just in case they happen in the future.   

Photo of Ayub Kiranda
Team

Rockies, can you consider primary schools especially in the country side for your recruitments. Our schools have annual musical and arts competitions where young women and men showcase their talents. However, this ends there as our government had no programme that helps these talented young stars to advance their talents. I personally participated in one alongside a number of young boys and girls who were pretty talented in singing, playing musical instruments as well as dancing. It now hurts me to find them in the villages engaged in peasantry, their talents faded away with no substantial gains out of it. I know fell that if there was someone with your idea then, may be these now men and women would be living a decent life somewhere. I am, therefore, suggesting that you consider visiting these competitions to identify these talented young men and women.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Ayub, thank you again for your great contributions towards our idea. Indeed this is key, and this makes me to have a thinking that primary seven leavers would always be given a chance to identify and know their talents. I strongly agree that many people's talents have been killed and buried because they were not given a chance to grow and a platform to demonstrate their ability, now if such an arrangement is started, then such people will not loose out in life again. Lets keep shaping the idea for success. Thanks. 

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Magala,
We thank you very much for your time and the analysis you have made on our idea and the country at large. In order to reduce the rampant unemployment in the country, all of us agree that there is a need to shift from too much theory in class, to too much practicals in the field/vocational. So when we start grooming talents at the early stage, by the time they reach the real time of labor force, they will already be employed and they will be professionals in what they are doing, so there will be no much hustling with looking for jobs. Their capacity will have been built, got the exposure and connections they need, as well as the experience in the desired field. 
Once again, thank you for your input.

Photo of Field Marshal Magala
Team

On the issue of the Academy, I would conquer with you. It is true that in Uganda there is lot of talents, but the system of education we have in the country does not support the grooming and development of these talents. It is only starting in sports with about three academies, but in performing arts, we don’t have any. More still the schools that are around which try to teach, they only teach music and concentrate on teaching modern instruments, but not cultural instruments, so when such an idea comes of developing young people’s talents as you embrace and promote culture, in my own opinion, I think it is worthy to be given a try, thank you.

Photo of Paco Ohad Loffler
Team

Well done Ssozi and Rockies troupe, you have gone a long way and learned a lot of valuable lessons since I last saw you perform at Sheraton Hotel.

I agree with a lot of what is stated here, and such as wazungu like Richard Dowden (who has been to nearly all African countries), the biggest hindering factor for development in African countries is the lack of self-worth that a long legacy of colonialism and then tyrant dictators have inflicted on Africa. 

This is why I believe in this project, self-worth and self-help comes through valuing who you are, and an essential part of this is love for one's own culture. I have seen the Rockies Troupes trainings and shows for over a year now, and I am aware of how these young talented artists portray themselves, with a sense of dignity and pride which encourages those who watch them to value more than the show. They learn about and learn to respect a culture which is being represented by the troupe. 

Another factor which gives me hope in this project is that the education which is stimulated through this particular project entails notions of respect for our differences. By embracing all cultures and cultural dances as worthy of representation the Rockies Troupe exposes cultures to each other in a loving and compassionate way. This leads to deepen understanding among tribes and cultures which otherwise, can hinder cohesion and development.

What I would recommend the Troupe's project is to include more specific details on how the project will sustain itself once it has been established. Schools will be a good start, but in my experience there are many others who will benefit from this project. Hotels can offer their clients a beautiful, powerfully lively, and extremely professional oversight of different cultures and tribes throughout Uganda and East Africa. And this formula may be replicated all over the continent.

I would include some personal information in the "Tell Us More About You" part. Let us know better who are the team members. Tell us a little bit about the motivation our father Ssozi Brian has in investing so much of his life into this project. Let us hear how this has changed member of the troupe's lives. 

"Where will our ideas be implemented". Give a short overview of where you have been and where you plan on going. If you give a sense of the already achieved successes in the past, the future implementation will seem more likely. Uganda is big and even the majority of Ugandans have not seen the whole country.

"Experience in country(ies)". See previous point. Illustrate with names of events, places, titles gained, etc.

"Expertise in sector". I don't believe that you have over one year of experience. For a team to perform the way I have experienced the Rockie's Troupe's performance, only their preparation takes that time. Ssozi as an individual, has longer experience in the overall sector of arts and dance.

Overall I like the project, but I would focus much more on what you want to achieve with this project. Give background information to help the reader understand that the Rockies is starting up and going strong, and that the ideas you have for this are thought out and planned. 

Good luck!

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you so much Paco Ohad Loffler for your contribution especially the recommendations and the analysis of the hindrances of development on the African continent. On how the project will sustain its self, we briefly said that the market for our services is increasing everyday within and outside the country.

Talking about Sszoi Brian the founder of Rockies Organization, I thought they needed more information about the organization not Ssozi as an individual, however, I think I can include this in the last paragraph.

Where to implement, expertise, and country of operation, it was set answers and u just have to choose the most appropriate. True in this field I have greater experience, but their concern is just from 1 year only, it is enough for them. Otherwise thank you so much for your critical analysis, hope to continue working with you, for the betterment of Rockies Organization and the country at large.  

Photo of Keirungii Donna
Team

@Paco, you raise some important issues in your submission but i request to a  little somehow expound on your paragraph one submission in reference to the colonial influence. As we all have to know is that time and tide change and so culture is susceptible to evolve in the long run. as such, we can not ably keep to our obsolete tendencies but swim along the tide, a point which Rockies has perfected. Otherwise  I strongly concur with your submission and given chance, Rockies team  is headed for much greater that anyone could ever fathom.

Photo of Paco Ohad Loffler
Team

Hello Donna, what I mean by this is simply that Africa suffered a tremendous rupture in terms of its history, and followed by colonialism one can see other economic and political occurrences which have hindered development. Major policies forced from abroad, goals and incentives which didn't develop at all in Africa, loans and other things. This has lead in many countries, together with other factors, like plenty natural resources, to a lot of suffering in many African countries. Because of this, and because of the decades in which this has been happening many Africans don't trust other Africans, nor themselves in that case, and have lost hope and pride in their own cultures and acquired hate and obsession with the western cultures. In order for Africa to develop, in a human way, this must change, and culture is the bottom line for this change!

I agree with you that time changes everything. I also do think that some of the damage that Africa has suffered will last long still, and that is what I was referring to. Does it make sense?

Photo of Schobsi Wanderlust
Team

Well done indeed, Ssozi and Rockies Troupe!

What a pleasure to see you have come so far!

Every time I saw the Rockies Troupe perform, I was not only touched by the power, energy and enthusiasm, the young people shared with the audience, but what stayed with me the most, was the feeling of family you have given me. 
Rockies Troupe is much more than just a cultural group, it is a true family, that provides support to each other. Support and a feeling of belonging are so essential for a community to developm This is why I believe, that you at Rockies Troupe have the power to transform the society at large! You start with the young talents, you foster their abilities, you make their dream come true and this is the starting point of something much bigger. They will go out into the world changed and they will continue this change.

Another important aspect in your work is the preservation of all different types of cultures. In order to live together peacefully, despite cultural differences, we need to learn from each other. We need to know about each other's cultures in order to appreciate each other even more. This is exactly what Rockies Troupe is doing. And you are doing it in the most beautiful and powerful way possible!


I wish you all the best with this project!
You have come a far way and you will go even further! 

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Schobsi Wanderlust, We do appreciate your contribution and comment about our organization and the work we do. Just like our motto goes that "Culture is Pride" Living in peace should be universal and that every person at each level of society benefits from. We seek to build Geo-cultural peace in Uganda and Africa at large through appreciating our cultural diversity, peace education, promotion of human rights and youth development as we develop their talents in performing and creative arts. I pray we continue working together for the better world. 

Photo of Keirungii Donna
Team

True, a good example being Uganda with it very diverse ethnicity. This diversity definitely comes with a great deal of different cultures , beliefs and way-of-life. Through all the different differences, Ugandans have ably identified themselves as Ugandans before their ethnicity, Harmonious living should be put before self preservation which majorly has been showcased by the Rockies group with love and grace.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Yes Donna I am in agreement with you, you know a person without culture is like a tree without roots. Our cultures look intact and surviving and when the youth put down their inferiority complex and divisionism as per race, ethnicity, political beliefs among others, and concentrate on imploring commonalities and working together in developing their God given talents in this field, development will certainly come and unemployment rate in the youth will definitely reduce.  

Photo of Jacob Ey
Team

This is by far my most appreciated contribution in the entire array of entries. the idea is seemingly compelling enough in the imagery portrayed, but the nexus with employment benefits is drawn perfectly in the read up. There is no research writing that does not credit talents as being principle drivers of innovation and key factors in venture growth. it only follows that organisations like rookies here, are principally at the centre of nurturing the prerequisite consistency in talent deployment to earn a living. More often than not, the world celebrates the display of talent, whether it be in music or in the sciences, whether it be in cultures or in the sports, talented people will always have room at the top! Words fail me in appraisal of this idea, it is very much worth the time, and cuts the chase of many areas that undermine structurally engineered earnings. The most important thing here is probably that everyone enjoys doing what they are talented at, and there in, motivation comes more naturally to their kind. i have liked this idea, and words fail me in telling the entire tale.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Jacob, I thank you very much for your time and contribution towards our idea. I entirely agree with you that there is nothing as good as advancing skills in the field where you are most talented. Its one of the reasons why we believe that nothing is profitable like a talent. However, developing these talents has always been a challenge to many young people. They system of education we have in our country concentrate more on theories and history than developing our God given talents. With combined efforts and working together, once talents are developed, unemployment rate for the youth will largely reduce. Lets continue the conversation.  

Photo of Teopista Kizza
Team

Dear Brian and the entire Rokies Troupe crew

I am so grateful for what you are doing especially in promoting creative arts which is one of the themes of the Uganda National Youth Manifesto 2016-2021. We also recognise your immense contribution to the development of the youth agenda especially your input into the section of Sports and creative arts. We look forward to a continued working relationship to ensure that young people in Uganda are able to find Rockies as an opportunity and a platform through which they can develop their talent. 

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Dear Teopista, thank you so much for your contribution and a reminder of the National Youth Manifesto 2016 - 2021. It is through this that we can try to have some solutions to the unemployment rate for the youth in our country. Looking forward to working with you always.

Photo of Angela Moreno
Team

Dear Brian and Rockies Troupe,

I am impressed of all the work and effort you are putting on this life project, especially Ssozi as the father of the family. I know all this work requires a lot of sacrifices but also brings a lot of rewards. I am so proud and honestly impressed of all that you have grown since I met you, and in fact so happy that I actually did meet you.

The feeling that you transmit during a performance is unique, and you should be given the opportunity to transmit that feeling to many people around the world. Paco gives many interesting ideas, to which I hardly have anything to add. What I would maybe suggest would be coalitions with other organizations, with the purpose of supporting each other and growing with the same sensitivity and love for every culture.

I send you all my love and wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart. You deserve to continue growing and succeed, and I'm sure you will!

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Angela for your contribution, we strong believe in unity of purpose and we know that coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success, Yes together we can create a desirable change in the community we live in and the world around us. 

Photo of Muhereza Rivan Peter
Team

I have attended performances by Rockies Organisation before. In a special way I appreciate their celebration of not only the Ugandan culture but Africa as a whole whilst giving an opportunity to young people group members attain a happy life. What is special about the Rockies initiative is that with a little seed capital, it has the potential to become fully self-sustaining given a strong market for the group’s performances. Rockies does not only make its audiences happy, it gives opportunity to less fortunate yet Talented young people. 

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Muhereza Rivan Peter, for your contribution and also comments to the rest of the contributions. I am glad that this may take shape in formulating a better environment for young people in their country and give them a sense of belonging.

Photo of Ayub Kiranda
Team

Our culture is a resource that has been underutilised yet it has the potential to provide a living for many of our young men and women who every day dream of getting a job somewhere. Unemployment is certainly one of the biggest challenges of our times especially for the young men and women whose only assets are their brains and talents. Indeed, addressing this challenge calls for a re-orientation on opportunities available for the young people. Thinking beyond the scholarly jobs which are not enough for even a half of the youth in Uganda is the only way we can say that we stand to address the challenge of youth unemployment. We definitely need to tap into the resources that we have, culture and talents being one of them. This initiative is one of those we can rely on to preserve our cultures whilst earning a living out of it.
I wish to see Rockies empowered to recruit more and more of the young women and men who are desperately looking for opportunities. However, if you can even start it earlier, maybe from primary schools, then a lot can be achieved.

Photo of Muhereza Rivan Peter
Team

Nothing beats being employed by a passion grown by talent Ayub Kiranda  Thanks for the insight.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Mr. Ayub Kiranda, we are delighted for the time you have spent analyzing this. I wish I had contacted you before writing this, hopefully I would come up with even better approaches. I agree with you when you talk about early developing of talents, this is very key in realizing the objectives even faster, but at times we are limited by resources, however we are always very hopeful that together we can do greater things. I pray we keep in touch for greater exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Photo of Keirungii Donna
Team

Soul Searching and finding ones' talent and scope of passion is a process not any simple. Having been part of some Rockies' productions and performances leaves one in awe of the beauty and aura of nature given shape by music, dance, and instrumental. Rockies Troupe is astonishing and exciting. Astonishing that the grace and love portrayed in their performance cannot be reckoned and exciting that one would automatically want to know more about the young talent as showcased.  True a culture that is watered flourishes.

Photo of Ssozi Brian
Team

Thank you Keirungi Donna for your compliment, we also believe that, Culture is like water that silently seeps into and nurtures all forms of life. Our cultures are embedded in our talents which becomes very interesting for one to learn, develop and live by it. Through performing and creative arts, the youth of today will become job creators not seekers.

Photo of Muhereza Rivan Peter
Team

Talents is built by passion and that is what the young people who make up the Rockies Organisation posses. Great life ahead.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Ssozi Brian , great to have you onboard! We notice your post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? Remember the deadline for the challenge is October 31, 12pm PDT and just a few days away! To have your idea be visible and eligible for the next phase of our Challenge, publish your submission by hitting the Publish Entry up at the top of your post. Looking forward to seeing more of you in conversations across this challenge!