HISTORY

The Story of Keiga Foundation

Having achieved considerable business success, Dr. Christof Traidl, a visionary global business entrepreneur and philanthropist, founded Keiga Foundation in 2019 to give back to the global community.  
 
Frank Laaber, located in Germany and a long-time friend and business partner of Christof, has been involved in supporting different charity initiatives in Uganda since 2015, worked alongside Jonas Byaruhanga, the renowned Ugandan dancer, choreographer and founder of Keiga Dance Company. Christof and Frank visited Uganda on separate occasions between 2016 and 2019 with their families. These experiences were transformative and life changing. 
 
Meeting the very articulate Jonas, who has a deeply compassionate heart, and experiencing the wonderful people, topography, and fascinating history of Uganda, deepened Christof’s resolve to build a global humanitarian network between the US, Uganda, and Germany. The amazing idea of Keiga Foundation was born.
 
Today, Keiga Foundation seeks to forge a world where artificial differences disappear and the unity and diversity of humanity is celebrated through its two-pillar mission: to promote and secure funding for dance and choreography training and global artistic exchange.

2015-2016

The Beginning

Frank Laaber meets Jonas Byaruhanga. Through Jonas, Frank makes first contact with Kampala, Uganda. Frank Laaber expands his activities in Uganda, supporting several charitable initiatives which strengthens the love for the Ugandan culture and its people.

2017-2018

Global Artistic Exchange​

Frank and Jonas partner to host Ugandan artists for shows in Germany, establishing global artistic exchange as a supporting pillar of their work. Frank continuously supports charity initiatives and works alongside members of Keiga Dance Company in Uganda and Germany. The friendships with Ugandan artists and people deepened.

2019

Keiga Foundation

Through the connection to Frank Laaber, Jonas Byaruhanga and Dr. Christof Traidl meet in Kampala, Uganda and the idea for Keiga Foundation is born. By the end of 2019, Keiga Foundation is established as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in the United States and as a charitable organization in Germany and in Uganda.

2020-2021

COVID-19

Keiga Foundation hires Charles Ezra Ferrell as SVP for Development & Global Programs and expands programming to the US. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Keiga Foundation raised funds to support hundreds of people in Uganda with their basic needs. Keiga Foundation supports Keiga Dance Company in acquiring a dance studio and establishing Keiga School of Dance.

2021 to Present

Keiga Realignment

As we look forward to the new year, we’re excited to realign our mission and begin delivering high-impact, in-person programs. In the next month, Keiga Foundation and Keiga Dance Company will launch a series of community outreach events in Kampala and Jinja, Uganda. Also in December 2021, Keiga Foundation will be launching a dance teachers’ training program in Kampala in partnership with Keiga Dance Company and the Ugandan National Theatre.

Why Keiga?

At a very young age, Jonas Byaruhanga was nicknamed after a great dancer, Keiga. Keiga was said to have been possessed with the dance spirits of the Bachwezi and the last of one of that kind.
 
Bachwezi are believed to have been gods hailing from heaven and reigned during the time of Africa’s Bronze age.
 
At the age of 6, Jonas danced at different functions including  weddings, parties, and many other festive occasions where spectators noticed a resemblance between Jonas’ movements and that of Keiga.
 
At a later age, Jonas decided to honor the name by naming his company after the legendary Keiga.