Written by Rebekah Frimpong
Visionary: Silas Balabyekkubo Babaluku
Occupation/Title: Founder/Bavubuka Foundation; Hip-hop Artist, Youth Advocate, Community Builder and Hip-hop Activist
Silas Balabyekkubo Babaluku was inspired to travel back to the continent and ultimately his homeland of Uganda after living in Vancouver, Canada, for most of his adolescent life because, as he puts it: “I wanted to give back and empower the youth to [become] better leaders for the continent, for the countries they represent and the communities they live in.” Babaluku developed Bavubuka – which means youth in Lugandan – Foundation five years ago to show the importance of the journey of a youth foundation. He elaborates: “The ideology we have would allow young people to discover themselves within and become confident citizens to be able to advocate for the ills in society and things that they wanted to see changed as they are concerned.”
The Bavubuka Foundation provides safe spaces for youth to develop skill building and leadership in Uganda through the art of self expression via Hip-hop music and culture. Silas has further developed that concept by engaging the youth he mentors in the visual arts, sports, dance, film, community advocacy and music.
“We want to see our outreach grow nationally as well as globally, and use this as a springboard into music and the creative arts using it as a platform to spread our message,” states Babaluku.
He adds that his ultimate goal for the future is to build a “dream space for the youth of Uganda to come and continue to build their foundation celebrating and archiving the youth achievements and teach the youth history in line with the ancestral past and bring preservation element among the youth of Uganda.”
Babaluku finds his motivation for achieving the youth foundation to mainly be rooted in connecting generations.
He elaborates: “As a young man it was very important for me to understand why I wanted to do what I do today. The great mantra that I go by is self motivation for inspiration which is a big one in my life. I am always looking for a way the youth in Uganda can be a part of the greater concept of healing the world. So, I keep myself open to my peers from all over regardless of tribe or race, and it is also important to make sure the act of transformation is built at the core of the gift that you are giving.”
Bwette Daniel Gilbert