Does Bridgetown have talent?

2016-06-21 06:00
The Young Stylers who recently performed at Artscape’s Africa Day event have already registered for “Bridgetown has got talent”. Back from left are Gurshwin Andrews, Abduraghman Adams, Chad Arendse, Fathimah Cupido Wyden Adams and Ryan Brown with Dylan Paulse in front.

The Young Stylers who recently performed at Artscape’s Africa Day event have already registered for “Bridgetown has got talent”. Back from left are Gurshwin Andrews, Abduraghman Adams, Chad Arendse, Fathimah Cupido Wyden Adams and Ryan Brown with Dylan Paulse in front.

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A group of local organisations will be coming together to launch the “Bridgetown has got talent” project.

With the adage “Unity is strength” in mind, Bridgetown Theatre Company have partnered with Bridgetown Library, Bridgetown High School and Bridgetown Soccer Club who will be working with the City of Cape Town’s sports and recreation department to identify young talent in the Bridgetown community.

The facility manager for the Bridgetown Community Centre, Quinton Meyer, explains that while working with youth and adults in Bridgetown and surrounds, he’s discovered “loads of potential and talent”.

Meyer also points out, however, that many of these talented performers have no platform to showcase their skills.

“This project is designed to combat social ills and to bring about social cohesion within Bridgetown and the surrounding areas.”

The “Bridgetown has got talent” project will help provide participants with exposure as well as helping them develop their talents through a series of coaching clinics.

The end goal, Meyer explains, is to attract more young people and families to the community centre.

Amanda Engelbrecht, chief librarian of the Bridgetown Library, adds that the modern age of technology has caused a decline in book lovers.

“Through this event we also wish to say that the library is not only a source of books but also plays a vital role in the development the community by giving them access to free internet, career choices, research, friendships and a hub for improving their knowledge,” she says.

Bridgetown High School principal Andrew Windvogel is proud to have his learners take part in the project. The school’s matric learners have volunteered to help as group leaders and with organising events.

“This empowers them for their future and positive role models for others,” he says.

The Bridgetown Soccer Club have already been using the community centre for many years and club chairperson Allan Ryneveldt says the project is an ideal opportunity for the club’s young members to give back to their community.

“It is their small way of them saying thank you for giving us this opportunity and for caring for us,” he says, adding: “Many youth our age in other crime infested areas don’t have this. We are grateful.”

Vernon Piedt, chairperson of Bridgetown Theatre Company, says the “Bridgetown has got talent” project brings together different organisations with a common purpose: “The human dignity of our community members”.

“This project says our environment has helped us to be proud of who and what we are and where we come from,” he says, inviting all community organisations, churches, schools and community members from any area to get involved.

The project’s first event will take place during school holidays from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 July at the Bridgetown Community Centre from 12:00 to 20:00 where performers can compete in one of four categories for individual or group acts, namely: six to eight years; nine to 12 years, 13 to 18 years and an open category for anyone 19 or older.

No less than 16 acts will be chosen from each category to take part in weekly coaching sessions with professionals in their field, before competing in the competition final at the Nantes Park amphitheatre in Athlone on Heritage Day (Saturday 24 September).

This final promises to be a fun day out for the whole family where the audience will help with the judging process. There will also be stalls, exhibitions and family activities on offer.

For more information about “Bridgetown has got talent”, call Nicole Hendricks on 021 699 0914 or 072 045 5182.

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