Valentino R. Kabenge, Uganda’s top Latin and Ballroom dancer raised the country’s flag high once again during his debut appearance on Focus on Africa, a show on BBC that showcases the biggest stories from across Africa.
During the programme, which is now available online here, he spoke to Veronique Edwards about his love for dance, and his involvement in a festival that brings together people who are differently abled to showcase their talent.
This appearance comes after his big break in November 2022 as a judge at the London Dance Nights events with Strictly Come Dancing’s former pro Dancer Oti Mabuse.
To date, Valentino is ranked Uganda’s top Latin and Ballroom dancer, who has consistently graced big stages both nationally and internationally.
He is also known for including people with varied abilities in his live shows and in this interview, we get to hear why working with Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped is close to his heart, and why the inclusion of talented individuals despite their disability is important.
“We all have stories, we are human beings, and dance is a language we can use to express ourselves,” he said.
“There are very many people who are physically handicapped or visually impaired but they love to dance and music moves them. If you feel like you can move your body and have the talent to, then why not? Dance is therapy to most people.”
Working with Unseen Dreams Inclusive Dance Arts Festival inspired him to launch and support Rogers Bisereko, Uganda’s first mainstream dance act in a wheel chair. Bisereko has since been featured in different dance shows such as the 2022 edition of Bride & Groom Expo where Dance with Valentino opened all 3 of the daily event shows.
What a great year 2022 it was for Valentino and his contribution to raising Uganda’s dance profile!