The Work of the College
Every year about 500 Tanzanians apply for membership to the College. On the basis of the applicants' papers about 80 of them are invited to an entrance exam. In the end only a few students can be accepted.
Only Africans can apply. Non-Africans can take part in the workshops and practical seminars, which vary in length. The most demanding of them is certainly the International Dance Workshop, which takes place every year between July and September and which is usually frequented by participants from Europe, North America and Asia.
Training at the Bagamoyo College of Arts takes 3 years. It includes music, theater, dance, acrobatics, history of art, political education, English, Kisuaheli, dramatics, directing, management, stage technology a.m.m.
Students live on the college grounds (all meals included) and are subject to the Tanzanian code for students.
For one year the students are schooled in all subjects with equal priority; they can specialize in their second and third year.
Originally most of the artists were meant to be sent to different regions of the country after finishing their training. There they were supposed to act as multipliers who would built their own cultural groups, organize events and festivals, lead cultural houses and so give the national culture continuity.
Unfortunately, this (in third world countries unique) cultural and political claim could not be fulfilled anymore since many years, mainly because of financial reasons. It has become impossible for the government to employ College graduates. That is why graduate classes have begun to form their own cultural groups and organize performances on their own. After graduation, some of the students also move on to the university of Dar es Salaam, to study music or theater there. Only very few students manage to join the team of teachers at the College or the ensemble of the Bagamoyo Players.