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10 Travel Zambia May 2009 Nkani >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture HARD ACT TO FOLLOW Zambia continues to draw talent from around the world. Adam McGuigan is a drama teacher from Ireland who found his inspiration among the street children of Lusaka. Keen to make a difference, he set up an innovative drama-based NGO called Barefeet. Laura Manni asked him how it all started. Hollywood star Matt Damon is one of many well- known personalities also inspired by a visit to Zambia. Damon, star of Ocean's Eleven and the Bourne Identity, toured the Chongwe district on a visit sponsored by DATA ( Debt AIDS Trade Africa). He visited various projects set up as part of the UNDP/ UNV poverty reduction programme, including orphan care, women in business and HIV/ AIDS awareness. " The work that's being done and the people that I met on the front line there," Damon told Associated Press," I just came away feeling like we're going to beat this." BOURNE IN ZAMBIA It was an experience in a Vietnam orphanage during Adam McGuigan's gap year that ultimately led him to Zambia. He vividly remembers the spirit of the children, despite the hardships they endured, and the way in which they were transformed with just a football - and someone to pay them a little attention. That day in Vietnam remained with Adam as he completed his Masters in Drama and Physical Theatre back in the UK. And from it an idea grew. He developed a one- man theatre show and took it on the road across South Africa, spending seven months in 2006 performing in rural community schools. Circumstances soon led Adam to Lusaka, where he discovered Fountain of Hope - a large shelter that provides over 1000 of Lusaka's 128,000 street orphans with schooling, meals, counselling and various empowerment projects. When Adam ran an acrobatics workshop the talents and courage of the children astonished him. " They had never had anyone saying ' don't do that, you'll break your neck," he recalls. " They had no fear!" Adam continued working with these children. When the plight of ' street kids' became a key issue during the build- up to the 2006 elections, he helped give them a voice for the fi rst time by creating a play based upon their concerns. Thus Barefeet Zambia was launched in November 2006, with a performance that Adam recalls being " the most theatrical moment" of his life. The going has not always been easy. Adam remembers returning to Ireland at one point feeling " emotionally drained and demoralised". But it was upon his return that he met and joined forces with Tobias Tembo, an inspiring Zambian who was part of Builders of the Right Attitude ( BORA). The two collaborated on several projects and have been working with each other ever since. Highlights have included performing for Bill Clinton in 2007, touring the EU as part of the ' Contacting the World' festival and, last December, staging Lusaka's fi rst proper Christmas show: Edward Scissorhands: the Story of Snow. And there is much more to come. Just watch this space. Barefeet uses theatre and creativity to build awareness of issues affecting orphans and street children. Learn more at www. barefeettheatre. org or contact Adam McGuigan at adam@ barefeettheatre. org. BAREFEET THEATRE LAURA MANNIDATA X 2

May 2009 Travel Zambia 11 View from abroad Jagdish Nayee - Jag, to friends and family - was born in Ndola but raised and educated in England after moving there as a child. Today he works in IT at Gatwick Airport for The Mileage Company, a subsidiary of British Airways. Jag is married to Trusha, who hails from Zimbabwe, with whom he has two young children. He talked to Mike Unwin about his Zambian connections. FAMILY TIES Sad news from Chipembele Wildlife Orphanage in South Luangwa, reports Anna Tolan: Bulu the ' Wonder Dog', so- called after he survived a vicious lion attack, has passed away after a long illness. Bulu had a truly adventurous life: not only did he cheat death on numerous occasions; he was also a wonderful ' mother' to the many orphaned creatures that were raised at Chipembele. He would even chase lions and elephants away from the house, adamant that it was his territory and not theirs. Bulu's gentle spirit and miraculous survival abilities touched the lives of many people and made him a local legend. He will not be forgotten. WONDER DOG BARKS HIS LAST How often do you go back to Zambia? I arrived in England on a snowy December morning in 1976 and it was 20 years before I returned to Zambia. After that it became a regular occurrence, going back once every two years at least. Usually we take a three- week trip and divide our time between various members of our family. What do you do when you're there? We enjoy meeting family. Zambia, with its natural beauty, lets you unwind like nowhere else. I just love standing around, whether in the local market or at the dam, and soaking it all up. There are great places to eat and drink and, being from the Copperbelt, I always enjoy seeing the mines at night. Recently we were able to spend a few days at Victoria Falls and watch the sunset. Awesome! How is life in the UK different from life in Zambia? This might sound strange, but you get more out of your 24 hours in Zambia. In England, with our busy lifestyles, time is always too short. Zambia slows you down, with its wide- open spaces and natural beauty. Even after a busy day there is always time to relax with a cold bottle of mosi - or two, if you know me well. What do you most miss about home? Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it's the sunshine: that great feeling it gives you every morning. Also the fantastic sky at night. The Zambian way of life allows you to burn the candle at both ends. If you could show an English visitor one thing in Zambia, what would it be? It's a tough call. Victoria Falls is truly magical, whether you are bungee jumping, white- water rafting or just getting soaked in the spray and marvelling at nature's work. Yet you can't say you have been to Zambia unless you encounter wild animals living as nature intended in the Luangwa Valley. Any visitor really needs to experience both these great destinations. People Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani JAGDISH NAYEE X 2 RON TOFT ( LEFT); CHIPEMBELE X 2