Spinning the decks to bring change

2015-08-26 11:32
The group of participants with the CPF, local DJs and Michael Peterson. 

Samantha Lee

The group of participants with the CPF, local DJs and Michael Peterson. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Music is a universal language that will be used to join a group of like-minded teenagers thousands of kilometres apart.

The Global Youth Spinners Project (GYSP) will soon be launched in Cape Town and the first group of participants have already signed up.

Founded and run by celebrity publicist Linda Luna and American DJ Michael Peterson, the project seeks to educate children to become the next innovators and equip them with practical skills.

The project will start in October and run for three months.

This will be followed by a further six months developing the trade and a other year spent giving back to the community.

Peterson, from Brooklyn, New York, says there are alot of similarities between the two cities.

“Brooklyn is my Mitchell’s Plain. We have a lot of the same problems and when I look around I can see that,” he says.

He has been working with youth for the better part of 20 years and believes that they are the future.

He adds that this project would not have worked in the city centre.

“I believe that the best innovations will come from the places that have very little. We also needed this place to be close to the children so that they could go there if they needed to,” says Peterson.

“I am all about youth development.”

He believes that by teaching these youths to DJ he will in turn impart knowledge of several other subjects, including life skills, mathematics, science and IT.

“We don’t want to take them off the streets, we need them on the streets in a good way, spreading the word,” says Peterson.

He has travelled the world assisting in setting up these labs.

The lab will be based at Ethols Place Youth Centre in Civet Street.

On completion each participant will also be given the tools to become independent DJs.

“The idea is that they do not run off but rather come and mentor the next group and then also give back once thy have made it,” says Ashley Potts, Ethols Place director.

Peterson has already arranged for the equipment to be shipped to South African shores and should arrive shortly.

He will also be returning to Cape Town to be the group’s teacher for the first few months.

Several other well known DJ’s have also pledged to support the initiative.

DJ’s E20, Ready D, Newton from Funky Buddah, Codax, Latino and Portia along with the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum have joined together on the project.

DJ Ready D, previously from Beacon Valley says music saved his life and looks forward to helping do the same for the pupils who are interested.

“This is a quiet revolution,” says Peterson, “If you shift one person’s mindset, you wil have changed 30 and that 30 will change 30 more and before you know it there will be a difference. It will not happen over night but in five or 10 years.”

To date seven boys and one girl have signed up.

Look out for details of future sign ups.

All applications are subject to screaning.


For more information on the project visit http://www.gysproject.org

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