South Africa is a land of contrasts, including massive inequality. In the country’s North West province, lucrative platinum mines and the famous Sun City tourist resort stand in stark contrast to the many young people in the area who cannot get jobs or afford a decent education.
For this reason, internationally renowned musician Johnny Clegg will perform a special unplugged concert to raise funds for a new scholarship fund that will change the lives of the youth in the area.
Clegg’s performance takes place on Saturday 7 May at Lebone II College in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg in the North West, with all funds going to the school’s newly launched Phatsima Fund.
Lebone II College is a leading independent school for boys and girls from South Africa and the rest of Africa. Lebone means 'light' in Setswana. The college was named after its founder, former Kgosi (King) Mollwane Lebone Boikanyo Molotlegi, chief of the Royal Bafokeng, an innovative community that rules over the platinum-rich region.
Phatsima (the Setswana word meaning ‘Shine’) came to fruition after a chance meeting between a leading South African businesswoman Getty Gizaw and one of the school’s pupils, Tsholofelo Diale.
Tsholofelo recently revealed to visiting guests how she had as a 17-year-old applied to the school without her parents’ knowledge as she knew they couldn’t afford the school’s fees. Once she had been accepted, the industrious Diale, against all odds, went about successfully applying for bursaries and funding. One of the school’s top graduates, Diale – now 20 – is studying for a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree at the University of Cape Town on a full scholarship provided by the Royal Bafokeng Nation.
“There and then I was determined to do something so that children who are academically astute but financially impoverished would have the opportunity to access a top education,” explained Gizaw. “Learning played such an important role in my life and I’ve always believed that as business people with the opportunities we have, we must pay it forward.”
Gizaw approached music promoter Roddy Quin of Real Concerts, who also manages Clegg, and asked if they would take part in a concert to launch Phatsima and they were instantly on board.
The goal is to raise R500 000 towards the scholarship fund to continue to make this world-class education at Lebone ll College, a proudly Setswana school with deep roots in the African soil, available to poorer students who qualify for such funding.
Clegg - who recently received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Queen Elizabeth II as recognition of his unique services to the arts‚ vulnerable people, children and democracy in South Africa - will be joined on the amphitheatre stage by the Lebone II College Choir.
According to Lebone II College headmaster David du Toit, “Ensuring that all children have the possibility of an outstanding education is a priority for our country and is in the forefront of thinking about the future for the Royal Bafokeng Nation. Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, our current king, has stated that the true wealth of a nation lies in its people, and as such has placed emphasis on education, with Lebone ll College as a central focus on providing outstanding learning opportunities in our community.
“This concert with one of our true South African music legends aims to make funds available for young people to apply to enter this school and to enjoy the gift of education,” added du Toit.
The Johnny Clegg Unplugged Phatsima concert takes place at Lebone II College Amphitheatre on Saturday 7 May, starting at 6pm. Tickets are R150 on the grass embankment, R250 in the amphitheatre, R300 in the Golden Circle and R500 for VIP. Tickets are selling fast and all indications are that it will be a sell-out. To book your place or for more info, call (+27)14 566 1546 or (+27)78 196 0042 or visit the Lebone II College website.