August is usually a pretty quiet month for us here at Masamba. Most of the educational institutions and youth projects we work with are shut for the month, or operating a reduced service. As many people are on holidays, there is also a reduction in festival activity, so August is usually a chance to take it easy, catch up with paperwork, and start getting set up for the new school year.
However, this month, we have had the opportunity to go back to our roots, and re-visit some of the communities we have worked in over the years.
We began the month with a trip back to the Liberties to play at a local event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the building of the houses in the Carmans Hall/Spitafields/Hanover Street/Ash Street area. It was a simple parade up and down the street for us, but there was a great sense of community, some great banter, and there was cake in abundance!!
Last weekend, we revisited Naomh Fionbarra’s GAA club in Cabra, to participate in a local community parade there. Masamba has been involved in activities in this area for at least 15 years, starting with our involvement in the campaign to get a proper building for the Gaelscoil in the area. While it was great see that modern building built and in use, there is still plenty of work to do to make Cabra a better place to live and work. However, again, we found some really good community spirit and a great example of how the GAA does so much more than just organise sports in a local community.
This coming Saturday (August 18th), we are joining the Festival of the Nations in Mountjoy Square. This is a new event for us, but it is right in keeping with celebrating the cultural diversity of Dublin City, and supporting the work of those that seek to break down the racism and discrimination that still exists in some quarters.
What’s also great about this event, is that it is very close to our new rehearsal space at Jigsaw in Belvedere Court. We always try to establish links with the local community wherever we rehearse or deliver workshops, so the Festival of the Nations will give us an opportunity to start that process.
We will be doing a short ‘Parade of the Nations’ around Mountjoy Square at 1pm, and there is lots more on offer with a full programme up until 6pm – and it’s all FREE!!
Finally, we also took some time out on Saturday in Cabra to do a little recording for a campaign, organised by Deep RiverRock, to support local community projects like ours. It may generate some income for the band, which would be very welcome indeed!
The campaign is called ‘Thirst For Better’ and will rely on members of the public redeeming codes found on bottles of Deep RiverRock water. There are further details about the project here: https://www.deepriverrock.ie/thirstforbetter/masamba-samba-school Please support us if you can!