Six Hours in Geelong featuring Alain Bakulikira

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Six Hours in Geelong featuring Alain Bakulikira

“Life and time are the world’s best teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time. And time teaches us the value of life,” so muses the talented and determined Alain Bakulikira, young leader and member of the Geelong Edge Ensemble. The ensemble is behind the new original work Six Hours In Geelong: a story of loss, loathing, love, and racism.

Alain, now 22, was 14 when he came to Australia from Kenya with his Congolese parents and younger sisters. He was in high school at North Geelong Secondary College when he first came into contact with Western Edge Youth Arts, the youth theatre organisation behind the Six Hours In Geelong project.

“When Western Edge came to my school to perform, it caught my eye ’cause what they were doing was they were not just performing, they were educating as well,” he says. “What Western Edge did was totally different to what I’d done before. They had a story behind them. I had something I wanted to show people and I didn’t know how, and Western Edge came with a way. It’s been an opportunity to share stories, and learn some other people’s stories.”

Unpacking some of the messages he’s been able to express through the work with WEYA, he explains that he only came to encounter the realm of racism here in Australia.

“I never knew the word racism back home. I learned that here. It was actually funny when I came here and people were calling people black, yellow… back home everyone is African, even the white people. It really tore my heart apart when I came here. It wasn’t what I expected. It made me want to go back home, but I couldn’t. There’s war, and I’m here with my family.”

Apart from the work with Western Edge Youth Arts, Alain is also currently working in schools supporting students with special needs. As the eldest of seven, and the only son in his family, he feels a big responsibility to help out the family, and has done a lot of different jobs in the last few years, including an apprenticeship in cabinet making, fixing panels on roofs and building pagodas. Alain also started an engineering degree, but deferred to continue working to supporting his family.

Alain’s highly developed sense of responsibility is reflected in the character he has created for the Six Hours In Geelong project. “The name of my character is Big. For me it’s about being big. I’m the oldest guy in the family and I’ve got a lot of responsibility. I want to see everyone, their future, being big. I want it to be wide. That’s what I expect for everyone, to have wide dreams, something big.

“For me being with Western Edge, it’s a privilege,” he continues. “Life and time are the worlds best teachers. Life teaches us to make good use of time. And time teaches us the value of life. I like that quote because the time that I’m spending at Western Edge, that’s the time teaching me the value of life; the value of time. I have to spend it very carefully, ‘cause this is the only time that I have.”

When & Where: Drama Theatre, GPAC – October 27, 1pm and 7pm

Tickets: $5.50 concession | $10 full

Bookings via or call Box Office on 03 5225 1200

Written by Kendra Keller, Western Edge Youth Arts