By Ella Will, For the Reporter
For two hours every day, Philo Nakachwa listens to music and dances on the corner of 77th Avenue SE and SE 27th Street, right outside Tabit Village Square.
Originally from Uganda, Philo has been a Mercer Island resident for 23 years, and her son Benjamin is currently in college. Philo prays for four to six hours every night, and in the morning, “I wake up and am full of eternal joy, peace, happiness, and protection,” she said.
Before arriving at the spot she dances in these days, Philo would dance across the street with music blasting from her car for all to hear. She moved when the police told her she was “disturbing the peace.” Philo said, however, that the purpose of her dance is to bring people joy.
Philo is most connected to God when she’s dancing, she said.
“I feel provided for and powerful because I have his presence with me. I have supernatural confidence and no fear at all. He choreographs the dance,” she said.
Even if nobody was watching, Philo said she would still dance. She said that while it is not for everyone, those who enjoy her dance love it and have a deep connection with her.
“A lot of people choose to be blind or act like they don’t see me, and that’s normal. There is an unspoken internal struggle people have. They are condescending and despise people of my color, and seeing me with that internal struggle is the reason they are acting blind,” Philo said.
Philo hopes her dance will bring positivity and eternal peace to the world. She said she wishes to one day receive a phone call from world leaders engaged in war, asking her to dance for them and help them put down their weapons. She wishes for everyone who watches her dance to experience the same peace.
Philo said most of all, she wants everyone to understand that “other people’s actions or perceptions of you should never diminish your value. Your worth is not dependent on what people think of you or what they say about you.”