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    Inspiring the youth to take Arts and Culture to new heights

    The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) hosted 100 aspiring youth from seven schools at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) Arts & Culture School Program during February. This annual program, now in its 5th year, is supported by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and managed by the CTIJF Training and Development team.

    Experts and mentors, such as Billy Domingo (ESP Afrika) and Keith Tabisher (WCED) - to name a few, provided youth with training pertaining to the dynamic entertainment sector. The program focused on a plethora of business logistic topics such as on-stage etiquette preparation, commuting to an event, CV writing skills, marketing, social media, technological advancements, musical appreciation, and conduct training in both musical and production elements.

    “We impart insight into successfully executing an iconic event such as the CTIJF, life skills, and real-life challenges and triumphs experienced so that the students can learn from it – making this invaluable program one-of-a-kind”, says Craig Parks, ESP Afrika Training and Development Content Advisor for the program.

    A prerequisite for the school selection was that the band should have a history of public performance(s); and students should demonstrate a passion for the industry. These factors are pivotal as they would be exposed to ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering’, the CTIJF. There were intern opportunities for students who did exceptionally well on this course to shadow professionals at the CTIJF week-long Training and Development Live Program held in various venues around the city.

    “The CTIJF workshop has been a life-changing experience. I dream of one day performing on the stage – or would gladly grab the opportunity to be a runner behind the scenes”, says 18 year old vocalist, Mekaylor Colli, from Wynberg Senior Secondary.

    The CTIJF boasts 5 stages and will draw approximately 30 000 music lovers to the CTICC over the two days, 27-28 March 2015. The benefits of hosting this festival are widespread – it creates job opportunities throughout the sector, and around 200 Grade 11 and 12 students will be given an opportunity of a lifetime to gain experience at the event. This year the Heathfield High band will be sharing the stage with the 40 local and international performers.

    “We are delighted to work with a like-minded organisation like ESP Afrika which recognises the importance of investing in the development of the youth - our future leaders. This program provides a platform for a unique learning experience which will not only leave a lasting legacy of up-skilling the industry, but will also contribute to a sustainable economy”, adds Julie-May Ellingson, CTICC Chief Executive Officer.

    The workshops ran over a period of four Saturdays during February. The schools which participated in the program included: Chris Hani High School, Elsies River High School, Heathfield High School, Langa Music Project, Pinelands High School, Settlers High School and Wynberg Senior Secondary.

    Photographer: Gregory Franz



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