Clem Sunter

Rockin' for Room 13

2013-11-14 09:02

Clem Sunter

Last week I wrote about how the world of work has changed and you now have to prepare young people for a completely different scene of creating a job for themselves as opposed to finding an existing job. This is a 21st Century megatrend that cannot be ignored.

On Wednesday this week, which happens to be November 13, Reg Lascaris and John Hunt got together some of their friends who share one characteristic - a passion for rock 'n roll - and put on a fantastic gig at the Barnyard Theatre in Morningside, Johannesburg.  I was privileged to be involved in the line-up which included, among others, Peter Matlare, Gareth Cliff, Dave Munro, Jen Su, Ben Kruger, Neil Hobkirk, Lee-Ann Shepherd, Hester Hahn, Ian Fuhr, Rowan Smith, Paul Edwards and Peter and Alastair from City Lodge. The Jacob Hay band provided the musical support for everyone except for Peter Matlare who played the piano and myself who played acoustic guitar.

It was amazing seeing these guys belting out Mustang Sally, American Pie, If I were a rich man and many other hits of the last century. Lots of ladies underwear were thrown at the singers on the stage. Who wants to be a CEO or Marketing Director after that experience? The audience were rocking in the aisle and swaying with torches and didn't mind the odd off-key note. We should go on tour!

Now for the serious bit. Room 13 (and please just Google room13.org.za) is a fabulous initiative where a separate room for the arts is built at disadvantaged schools with money raised from a variety of donors. As it says on the website:

"Room 13 is a place where our imagination runs free. It is a place for us to go to after school and express our creativity through painting, drawing, drama, poetry and storytelling, any form of artistic expression we desire.

"We run Room 13 ourselves - we have our own management team and we choose our artist-in-residence to act as our employee and run our studio like a business."

"We" in the quote are the students at the school so they learn about the arts and at the same time how to run a business. How brilliant is that!

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