Hope of the Maasai tour to perform at Columbia churches

Friday, November 11, 2011 | 3:31 p.m. CST; updated 11:45 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 16, 2011

COLUMBIA ­­­— The En-kata choir will perform at two area churches next week as part of The Hope of the Maasai tour.

Amanda Iman, 26, a member of Memorial Baptist Church, had a big hand in bringing the tour to Columbia. She spent last summer in Tanzania with the Maasai as a part of the Pamoja Ministries media missions group, and has acted as a tour coordinator since it began in October.


What: Hope of the Maasai Choir

Where: The first performance is on Tuesday at Memorial Baptist Church, 1634 Paris Road, and the second is on Wednesday at New Hope Church, 4201 I-70 Drive Southeast.

Admissions: Free

For more information call Memorial Baptist Church at 443-1408 or New Hope Church at 443-3777.

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"The church helped send me to Africa when I went last year and since I'd been to the Maasai's home I thought it would be great to bring them back to mine," Iman said. 

The group spent last month in Canada traveling from Vancouver to Winnipeg. They then traveled to North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Last week they were in Chicago;they will visit St. Louis before coming to Columbia.

"We're really just trying to make the most out of the 2 months," Iman said.

During their time on tour, the En-kata choir has shared stories and songs about overcoming HIV/AIDS, as well as disease and poverty. All ofthe group's music is performed in their native languages, Maa and Swahili.

"The performances are all acoustic, which is very traditional to their roots as an African tribe," Iman said. "There's a lot of jumping and dancing, too."

The choir will perform Tuesday at Memorial Baptist Church and Wednesday at New Hope Church. Admission is free, but the choir will be taking donations for building additions to a schoolhouse that they built with money raised from their first Hope of the Maasai tour in 2009.

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