Ugandan dancing superstars Ghetto Kids storm into BGT semi-final Ghetto Kids from Uganda

Ugandan dancing superstars, Ghetto Kids, have won the semi-final, earning themselves a direct place in the Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) grand finale on Sunday.

The kids yet again impressed the judges and the public during their Wednesday showcase at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.

It was Priscila (age 12), Asharif (12), Akram (13), Shakib (12), Madwanah (13) and Josephine (5). They performed a couple of songs many of them with African themes. They wore colourful outfits.

One of the dancers was unable to dance after contracting malaria. 

Judge Bruno Tonioli called them “simply irresistible” while Simon Cowell said; “It was just pure magic. When something’s great, it’s great. The audience genuinely loves you”.

Both Alesha Dixon (judge) and Simon picked Ghetto Kids as their standout act of the night.

Ghetto Kids beat off stiff competition from guitar player Harry Churchill, magician Miki Dark, dance group Notorious, comedian Markus Birdman, yo-yo experts Toy Toy Toy and singer Dylan B.

In the finale, they will be up against Travis George (Welsh singer), comedian Viggo Venn from Norway, 11-year-old Olivia Lynes, from Bath, amputee dancer Musa Motha from London, and singer Amy Lou from West Midlands.

Their performance earned them a standing ovation from all four judges.

The prize for the BGT 2023 winner is £250 000, something that would change Ghetto Kids’ (many of whom are orphans) lives significantly.

Ghetto Kids won many plaudits from the public back home in Uganda. 

Tourism enthusiast and entrepreneur Amos Wekesa tweeted “Good job Ghetto kids for showcasing Ugandan talent”.

The Ministry of Tourism posted: “What a night for the amazing Ugandan rising stars as they became the first to qualify for Britain’s Got Talent show finals. Shine on Ghetto Kids, shine!”

Former Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga congratulated them, adding she was very proud of their achievements.

Last month, Ghetto Kids made news after they became the first performers at Britain’s Got Talent ever to get the golden buzzer mid-performance. Never had the golden buzzer been pressed before a performer finished.

If an act is awarded the golden buzzer at the end of their audition, it grants them a place in one of the live semi-finals of the show. 

This means they skip past the bootcamp stage of the competition.

The Ghetto Kids were the first acts to get a golden buzzer this (2023) Season of BGT.

In a heartwarming video showing them catching up with judge Simon (after their semi-final performance) behind the scenes, he asked how he could be part of them.

Their latest achievement — booking a slot in the BGT finale  — was much needed, at a time when Uganda’s image is currently being portrayed negatively internationally following the enactment of a law against homosexuality.

Bushingtone, a renowned producer, music director and events manager, says moments like Ghetto Kids at BGT are good mileage for Uganda as a country and the arts industry.

He told Plugged in April that the creative arts are the biggest promoter of Uganda’s tourism. Adding that for a country like Uganda whose toxic politics dominate the Ugandan story in international media, there needs to be a strategy to neutralise this and that culture is a low-hanging fruit.

“America does have a lot of nature. But they make all these shows like Amazing Race, they shoot movies at strategic tourism sites, about their history. When Ghetto Kids shine on an international stage, it’s a free advert. 

‘‘If I were the government, I would put aside the funding needed to create 20 more Ghetto Kids, 20 more Kenzos to make sure that our name is out there,” Bushingtone said. 

The Ghetto Kids rose to fame after featuring in Eddy Kenzo’s 2014 music video “Sitya Loss”. —

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