For me, this ‘Muwunya!’ incident has reminded me of MDD training in High Schools.
You people, me I have seen performance arts trainers who make trauma a routine of engagement with learners during training, especially for the high school Music, Dance and Drama (MDD) competitions. You people!!
Most of those MDD trainers are Beasts of No Nation! It is as if they are hired to (literally) import hell from Dante’s Inferno and use it to purge innocent souls into performative action! These trainers abuse, ridicule, slap and kick the young souls into physical and psychological pain. They are revolving compasses of fright. They love being feared. Fear is respect and vice versa. They humiliate the young trainees around their fellas in all sorts of ways (in fact I can even make a book of the most infamous insults by MDD trainers).
Little wonder, then, that most students always avoid participating in such programs, for the fear of being psychologically maimed by a violent stranger carrying around demons of torture inside their heads that, perhaps, they faultlessly inherited from a mentorship culture they now live by.
Never mind that most students are being paraded to merely parrot what the trainer has come with written for them to perform (which that particular house he trains will falsely claim on Competition Day that it was written by the students; the Makerere University academician Isaac Tibasiima should tell you more about this; he’s done research around this area.)
Naye kambuuze, where did this violence (and plagiarism) dwelling in most MDD trainers come from? From what crossroad did they pick those demons? Who taught most of them that to be good teachers of MDD they have to be abusive and physically violent?
People, this is the real issue: Trauma in MDD Trainings.
And yes, I have friends who have worked with Mr. Alex Mukulu and have made it in life because his (highly intense) training methods hardened them for future challenges. But I also know friends who worked with him and have been scarred for life because of his feedback methods.
Yes, trauma is real in our arts training circles, people. If we are to check the high levels of depression among our artists today, we surely must look into the quality of their mentorship.