Uganda Orphans Choir Robbed Before Performance

Chance notes: There are at times tensions between black Americans and blacks from Africa. Often cultural differences and certain behavioral differences play a role. Especially when black Americans commit violent crimes against black Africans the tensions can grow.    

Uganda Orphans Choir Robbed Before Performance

By Pamela Jones


Sunday, August 24, 2008


CHICAGO (CBS) — A choir on tour from Africa hit a sour note in Chicago this weekend.

They were getting ready to take the stage when the group discovered they’d been robbed, as CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports.

They raise their voices in hoped for the future despite falling prey to crime just hours earlier.

They’re 20 of 70 orphans from Uganda performing in Chicago to raise funds to complete a new facility they can call home.

"These are all orphans. They’ve lost one or both parents to AIDS," said choir organizer Carrie Harless. "They’ve grown up in deplorable conditions. When we started taking care of them about three years ago, they were starving to death. They weren’t going to school."

Sunday, they became victims again.

Organizers were preparing the choir’s costumes just before their 4 p.m. performance at the City of Refuge Church – that’s when someone popped the lock on one of their vans.

"In those two minutes, the van had been vandalized and the two backpacks in the front seat were gone," Harless said.

The choir videotapes their concerts, but their group camera was stolen – along with laptops and priceless photos.

"Our calendars; where we are supposed to go; the addresses," said choir director Paul Kizito. "And it’s like we are kind of stuck at the moment."

And now organizers are forced to explain the crime.

"They came with a knife. It’s mind-boggling to think something like this could happen," Harless said.

Some of the children say the part they’re finding the most difficult to deal with is hearing the witness description of the suspect.

"It was terrible for us because they are Black and we are Black and so they are like stealing [from] their own brothers and sisters," said 15-year-old choir member Christine Kisakye.

SIFA means "praise" in Swahili. They’ve neem to 22 states on their tour and head to Michigan next.

They just want their items back to make the rest of their tour a success.

  1. Arthur Ward


    I have ZERO tolerance for Black on Black crime. Culture, poverty and all the other excuses have nothing to do with it. I grew up in the same conditions, along with other Black people that don’t commit crimes. I think we have too much tolerance for this in our communities – and it is profoundly hurting us as a people.

    When you have a situation where a Black child (another 8 year old recently got shot in Chicago while playing on her front stoop) can be physically safer around White people than our own folks – it is truly time to stop blaming “racism” and pulling out other tired excuses for this and look in the mirror!

  2. Chance

    Well Spoken Ward.

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