The Hakuna Matata acrobatic center. was founded in 2003, in Dar Es Salaam the institution is one of a kind! Hakuna Matata means (‘no worries’ in Swahili) is in Kinondoni, a neighborhood of Tanzania’s capital. All the students come from modest backgrounds – many of them don’t even eat at home and rely on the school to feed them – and have some of the most amazing acrobatic skills you will ever see.
The facilities are rudimentary – actually, Hakuna Matata center looks more like a big gym more than a school – but it is the spirit of the founder and his Amazing Hakuna Matata Acrobats that captivated and continue to captivate the world. Since its creation in 2003, the school has trained over 300 acrobats, 80 percent of whom are Tanzanian. Its alumni have gone on to the international stage, as part of Afrika Afrika and Circus Mother Africa, but also in other productions.
In just 15 years of existence, the Hakuna Matata acrobat have performed in over 50 countries including a Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Lebanon, South Africa, Egypt, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar,
Macau, Chilli, Peru, Columbia, Costarica just to name a few
In 2008, 14 members of the Amazing Hakuna Matata Acrobats were offered a 15-year deal by Franco Dragone – a former Cirque du Soleil producer – to star in Macau based ‘The House of Dancing Water’, the largest water-based show in the world. In 2013, another 32 acrobats were contracted by Alain Pacharie of Cirque Phenix to star in Cirkafrika, which will go on for its third world tour in December 2018.
Winston Ruddle, now a hyper-active 51-year-old fondly called Papa Africa, is the first black African anywhere in the world to own, direct and produce a circus show in a big top circus tent. Circus Mama Africa is credited to be one of Africa’s largest circus production and one of Africa’s greatest entertainment export with the artiste from
The Hakuna Matata acrobatic center Winston Ruddle has also founded and directed “Cirque Africa a uniquely African production, and its entire cast is from Africa with the majority of the artiste from the Hakuna Matata acrobatic center. The show differs in the way we present the acts, the music, the costumes, and the presentation – every part of the show is authentically African. Our energy is also unparalleled, and it is that core element that makes the experience so unforgettable for the audience.”Cirque Africa has performed to sell-out season off-Broadway and Adelaide fringe, Australia.