Festival instils pride in pupils

Pupils show off their dance moves at the Pride Festival.

The stage was ablaze with dance, song, drama and artwork as pupils showcased their talent at Cedar High School’s Pride Festival on Wednesday August 2.

Teacher and organiser of the event, Fagan Muller, said the aim of the festival was not only to celebrate the school’s 30th anniversary, but to bring back the pride pupils should have in their school.

He said it was the first year the school hosted the festival, one of the highlights of which was a performance by Wynberg rapper YoungstaCPT.

“We thought we would first instil pride in pupils that would make them realise that they should feel privileged being at one of only four art schools on the Cape Flats.

“We have had carnivals and food fairs in the past but we were also not consistently well supported. The festival was the first of its kind, run by kids.

“Payment of school fees is a huge problem (“Fees fall a failure”, Plainsman, June 21),” he added.

“Due to this problem we have had to cut down on teaching staff and had to combine classes. The over-crowdedness is not conducive to teaching or learning. However, it has not stopped us from fulfilling our primary aim as teachers and doing our best at being agents for change.

“We have tried many fund-raising schemes to get pupils and parents back to support our cause by running a 50c-a-day scheme, resort and holiday raffles but to no avail – we don’t get support from parents or pupils.

“Backed by the number of students participating and the amount of creative talent that contributed to the cause, I feel that we got our message across with this project,” he said.

Mr Muller said the pupils who performed carried their school pride within their hearts. “The privilege of being at an art school is that your creative ability can be joined with academic expertise and create a multi-faceted pupil who knows the demands of an ever-growing industry,” he said.

Grade 11 pupil Jason Gxotiwe, 18, said the event was “amazing” and that he had enjoyed performing in front of the whole school.

“The hip hop dancers were amazing; I enjoyed watching them dance. Tyler Botha is a world champion; he blew my mind. Music is my interest because I can express myself and many people relate to my music. Music makes people happy and speaks words when I cannot describe how I feel,” he said.

Grade 11 pupil Athenkosi Ntanjana, 17, said: “I found it humbling as it was my first stage performance in front of such a big and exciting audience.

“YoungstaCPT is one of my favourite artists. When he spoke, it motivated me to do better than him because that’s what he wants. Music and visual art are my interests.”