The news we cannot but dedicate our newest blog to one of the most influential people in kizomba – master Kwenda Lima leaving our beloved kizomba scene!… Shock, silence, questions? 

Kwenda Lima, a Cape Verdian kizomba guru, one of the first and biggest influencers responsible for the spread of kizomba throughout Europe and the rest of the world. He has been active for over a decade teaching about the historical and cultural background of this beautiful dance. We feel honoured to also call Kwenda our mentor.

We share our immediate reactions to Kwenda’s farewell message in this blog. Different reactions from both of us, but one thing in common: we both look forward to meeting our mentor in person in just a month’s time for the Inner Kaizen event where each of us will have an opportunity to get answers to our questions. 

Kevin’s reaction

Shocked, surprised, my first reactions. Followed by worries about how this will affect the scene. Kwenda Lima leaving the kizomba festival scene is definitely a loss for the kizomba world. I was quite devastated when I heard the news. After a good night’s sleep, I came to the following understanding.

As he touched many people with his Art Kaizen classes, he also touched Olga and me. In 2017 we had the privilege to spend a whole weekend learning from the master. It changed our whole perspective on kizomba culture and history. He is an exceptional individual with the power to heal, inspire and unite people. We have been attending his classes and following him ever since.

But as in all facets of life, change is inevitable. After traveling to countless festivals for many years spreading his love for kizomba, it’s now time to leave the stage and focus on his newly built school in Lisbon. He showed us the way of unity and love through kizomba and it is now up to us dancers, teachers, organizers to take up our responsibility and add our bit to the scene. To not fight, hate and separate, but to work together, love and unite.

 

Olga’s reaction

As I always say, there are many different ways to express the same message. Oftentimes, it’s not about “what”, it’s about “how”. I am happy Kwenda recorded a video message for us, for written texts cannot convey what videos do.

The news was indeed breaking for me, however, the way Kwenda addressed it in his video message left peace, love and admiration in me. I am not worrying, I don’t have fears, confusion or sadness. I actually have even no questions left. For me the master’s message was exhaustive and his decision is highly respected. Of course, we will align when we meet and talk in person soon, yet at this moment it feels to me as a natural flow of events. “Let life lead you…” Everything is moving and everything is changing in the Universe, nothing is constant, but the fact that we are all connected, that we are all one! And for me, this was exactly a key message of our beloved and respected mentor.

Is it a loss for the scene? Of course, it is! But the master cannot be there for us at the festivals, forever and ever sharing his wisdom, love and support. First, there are other ways to do that (and I believe and hope Kwenda Lima will continue his healing work amongst us, after all his beautiful Art Kaizen school in Lisbon is newly built and has its doors open). Second, it’s time for us to grow, mature, and share what we have learned from the kizomba guru. He has done a lot for this.

I see Kwenda’s message as a wakeup call for all of us, students, teachers, organizers to take responsibility for what is happening in the kizomba world nowadays. Peace starts small, it starts with self. “Let’s be united! No more fighting, no more separation.” 

 

Watch the full announcement below.

Big hug,

O&K Connection

 

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