The Wonderful Ugandan Ghetto Kids


Unbelievably, Africa is a powerhouse of untapped potential resources: both natural and human. At least, it has over 1.3 billion population while the natural resources are immeasurable. The importance of this huge population, there are talented people. And least we forget, Africa consists of fifty five independent states. Every African State has a particular brand, from politics to economy, and from lifestyle through music and arts. Uganda, situated in East Africa, has its own popular brands.

Most probably, not many have heard of it. Uganda has talented kids group which is increasingly becoming so popular. The Ghetto Kids Uganda demonstrated as much at the 2023 Britain’s Got Talent (BGOT) show.

Despite spending their time in the sprawling slums of Kampala, the group of six kids left the BGOT audience in awe. Even with their humble background, they put up one of the world’s best dancing shows ever. They are the first African kids act to ever receive a golden buzzer from Bruno, one of the judges before their performance was even complete.

Besides, they received the most public votes at the semi-final, which advanced them directly to the show’s final. This placed them among the 10 acts to ever compete in the finals. The Ghetto Kids Uganda did not win Britain’s Got Talent (BGOT) show in 2023. Instead, Viggo Venn, a Norwegian comedian won and walked home with £250,000 prize at the Royal Variety Performance.

Venn delighted the crowd once more with a routine inspired by high-visibility clothing in the championship round. The Norwegian pulled a fizzy dose of laughter among judges after convincing Judge Simon Cowell to don an identical high-vis jacket with rose flower speckles.

Dancer Lilliana Clifton, 13, and magician Cillian O’Connor, 14, finished second and third respectively. Ghetto Kids Act Tonioli opened the event with a routine to a medley of songs including Africa by Toto. He was among other young performers who dominated the grand finale stage.

Some audience members booed the outcome because they weren’t thrilled with the audience choice. Interestingly, amazing opera vocalist Malakai Bayoh and motivational dancer Musa Motha, who lost his leg to amputation when he was just 11 years old, failed to finish in the top three.

Venn appeared stunned after declaration he won this year’s show. However, several quarters booed him and their Twitter was on fire. “Sounded like a lot of boos there when #ViggoVenn was announced as the winner of #BritainsGotTalent. I thought he was great but a shock omissions from the final 3, and I think everyone thought the young lad would win. Bit of a deflated, down-beat end to the series #BGT2023 #BGT,” said a tweep.

Another one added that 2023’s BGOT was the most shambolic show ever held in the UK. “NEVER EVER EVER EVER watching @BGT #BritainsGotTalent again. absolute shambles‼ a guy running about in a high vis vest over so much proper genuine real talent? the boos in that audience, shocked faces and genuine tears said it all for me‼ SHAMBLES,” read the tweet.

The Ghetto Kids Uganda is a group of six, all aged between six and 13. They come from Kampala’s sprawling slums and streets.  Dauda Kavuma took in the six kids into the Ghetto Kids Foundation which he started years back to help needy children. He doubles up in his role as a guardian to the group’s manager.

He told BBC that his group would inspire many other people going through various challenges in life. Kavuma joined the streets for survival after the passing on of his father when he was barely a teenager. He dug through trash to find scrap and sold fruits to stationary cars at traffic lights in Kampala City.

The 30-year-old harboured football ambitions when he was a little boy, but a friend later persuaded him to try singing. He got so much from singing and it occurred to him that he could use this talent to help street children. 

“Most people thought street kids… have no value in society but I thought otherwise,” AFP quotes him. “I thought, what if I use music, dance and drama to transform the underprivileged in the ghettos. My inspiration was my love for music and to pay back to the society that has supported me through my hard life.”

The Ghetto Kids Uganda Foundation headed by Kavuma is headquartered in a five-bedroom home tucked away in a maze of Makindye streets. He takes care of orphaned, homeless, or underprivileged kids here ensuring they have shelter, food, education and clothes.

The Ghetto Kids and Masaka Kids are two different mixed-gender choirs from Uganda based in Kampala and Masaka respectively. They both work independently but with a common goal of aiding underprivileged children in Uganda.

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.


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