Pursuing his dream

2009-02-19 00:00

A YOUNG man from Hilton’s Teapot Valley is taking another step on the road to making his dream of being a sound engineer a reality.

Twenty-four-year-old Vumoh Kunene’s journey started when The Witness Hilton Arts Festival used national lottery money to stage an introductory course on theatre technology at the Hilton College Theatre.

Festival director, Sue Clarence, explained: “In 2007 several entertainment technologists came up from Durban to run a course [as part of the technical development project] at the theatre. The course included basic sound, lighting, stage management and theatre history.

“The participants were also shown around larger venues like the Playhouse, the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and the ICC [International Convention Centre] in Durban. They also got practical experience working at the Festival and had to do a written exam.”

Eleven people — all of whom live on the Hilton College Estate — were enrolled on the course, and Kunene, who matriculated at Sibongumbomvu Combined School in Cedara, came top of the class.

As a result of his achievement, the festival organisers decided to send him to Durban to get hands-on work experience with Romi Schumann of the sound engineering company, Production Projects. During his stint with the company, Kunene learned more about lighting, rigging and sound, and decided he wanted to work as a sound engineer.

Thanks to the festival organisers he’ll be given the chance to do just that. Kunene has been enrolled at Damelin Durban’s Westridge campus to do a two-year course in sound engineering, which will be paid for with the balance of the national lottery money.

“I have loved sound since I was young, so when this opportunity came about, I felt it was my chance to do something I really wanted to do,” he said, adding that once qualified he hoped to work in Durban and later in Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, he is both nervous and excited about the new course which starts on February 23.

“It’s a very practical-orientated course and when they showed me around last week they said the sound studio would be my classroom,” he added.

Clarence said the festival organisers were delighted with the success of the technical development project, which could be run again, if funding can be secured.

Should another project get the green light, Kunene — who is inspiring other young people in the area to consider a career in sound, lighting and theatre management — says he will help encourage people to get involved.

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