Performing arts project inspires pupils

Singer Vicky Sampson motivates pupils at Cedar High School.

Cedar High School pupils were inspired by artists and producers through the Heal The Hood Project on Wednesday May 24.

The project held a performing arts conference at the school, where artists shared their experiences with the pupils.

Heal The Hood founder Emile Jansen spoke about arts and creativity in the industry and encouraged pupils to set goals and work hard.

The guests included veteran singers Vicky Sampson and Ernestine Deane, and Gabi le Roux who produced music for Mandoza and many others.

FilmmakersfromMitchell’s Plain also shared their experience, and spoke about the opportunities they offer.

The Heal the Hood Project was started in 1998 by Emile of Black Noise, which was one of South Africa’s pioneering rap groups.

In 2008 they become an NPO and concentrate on community outreach projects.

Emile decided to include all the projects he was initiating in Black Noise as part of Heal the Hood Project and thus expanding the concept of giving back.

Emile said the aim of the project is to create a sustainable network of youth artists nationally and internationally through which jobs and new skills are created, and arts products and arts-related information can be distributed.

Ms Sampson, who is best known for her song African Dream, said there might be challenges on the journey as an artist, but you have to remain focused.

“Your dream starts with you. If your dream is to become a successful artist, you need to put in the hard work, effort and remain dedicated,” she said.

Grade 12 pupil Matthew Hendricks asked the panel how long it would take to make lots of money in the arts industry.

Emile said it is important for artists to work wisely with their money and to save.

“Firstly, you need to be serious about your dream. You need to hone your craft and then the money comes afterwards.

“You also need to be strict with yourself, such as opening a savings account,” he said.

Emile said the Heal The Hood Project has sessions every Monday after school, which includes dance, performing arts and rap.

There are about 12 pupils who attend the sessions at Cedar High School.

Emile said they are currently working on a music video which will include the pupils.

Cedar High School teacher Fagan Miller said the pupils are excited and eager to attend the programme.

“This is a wonderful programme, it all started with the cypher sessions at school, during intervals where pupils sing and dance freely. That’s when Emile came along, saw the passion and interest and then brought his project,” he said.

For more information about the project, contact the Heal the Hood Project Office at 021 706 0481.