Art Performance Centre Namibia 

Every day, hundreds of children and young people build their house of life at the Art Performance Centre (APC) in Tsumeb (northern Namibia). Most of them are of very poor origin, they live in shacks and can hardly escape from systemic underdevelopment. The poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer - this is what the APC in Tsumeb wants to change.

When you see these young people dancing, making music, acting, painting pictures, discussing trendy youth issues with each other or just playing, you realise what holistic development means. The dream of a better world becomes reality and gives concrete expression to the boundless creative potential of girls and boys. Every day, up to 400 children and young people turn up to receive lessons in all kinds of art. The 43-member team of teachers and other staff is young and still needs a lot of training in their own work. Motivation is high and the APC makes a valuable contribution to the city's society.

- Eva Barmet-


The APC (Arts Performance Centre) was founded in Oshikuku. The headmaster at that time was happy and grateful for this opportunity to have a development project for the unemployed youth. Thanks to Father Hans, his team and many benefactors and donors, step by step a small cultural centre with traditional huts came into being, from which new sounds could be heard every day. Soon an APC was also opened in Tsumeb, which has developed into a true paradise. 

The APC steps in where all too often only fine words prevail instead of effective action. Through art and creativity, an energy is released to transform both an individual and a collective into a new way of life. The APC can be proud and happy about its well-known success as an employer in music and the arts. It is also a meeting place for children and young people. They discuss life issues such as coping with everyday life, HIV/Aids, drugs, crime; about friendship and future projects even apart from music and art lessons! More than 80% of the people in Namibia have no fixed income. The APC works with strength and creativity for democratic development; if many young people have the chance to build their house of life in this way, this is an important contribution to a more humane Namibia.

Testimonial Eva

APC is a little paradise - probably the most beautiful school I have ever seen. Even the entrance reveals how much creative spirit is in this school. While walking through the beautiful grounds, you can hear music coming from all the huts. Sometimes I just stop and let myself be enchanted by the music. With great amazement, I can report how the APC has developed in the last few years. Young teachers approach me and ask if I don't recognise them! Back then, they were learning at APC as children - and now they are so advanced that they can pass on their knowledge to younger ones. The teachers at APC work hard for their dream. Every morning they meet at the centre to advance their personal skills. They make music together and support each other. This is how many grow beyond themselves. The APC works with the Trinity model, which is an internationally recognised model and motivates teachers to continue learning and deepening their theoretical knowledge. The higher the Trinity level, the higher the salary - this is a high motivation for many teachers who also come from very poor backgrounds. However, it does not seem to be in the foreground to collect as much salary as possible. The joy of music and making music together is the focus and, in my opinion, the secret of the APC. The teachers have a genuine interest in each other and in the children and they contribute to making the APC Tsumeb a very special place.

I myself was able to help set up the PPME (Pre-Primary Music Education) for the very young children and support the teachers in their work with the children. We discussed possible learning contents and goals, tested the use of different instruments and materials in the lessons and tried again and again to bring the whole thing into a playful setting. It was a nice experience to work with the teachers. Unfortunately, the learning success in the PPME field is less visible than in other offerings in the APC. This has not really helped the development of the early music education class. It would be quite important for teachers to regularly exchange ideas with other PPME people and be re-inspired.

In addition to my involvement in the PPME, I was able to sing with the teachers and children. We practised together for many hours and in return I was able to learn some new guitar fingerings and to show off my recorder skills in the in-house orchestra. I was also rewarded with many valuable encounters with children and teachers. It was a great experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Further information about APC you will find directly on their Website.