Drumline brings children together

2020-01-28 06:00
Astrid Abrahams stands with the first “drums” used by the Hillview Drumline.PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes

Astrid Abrahams stands with the first “drums” used by the Hillview Drumline.PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes

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The Hillview Drumline has brought together families and steered children away from gangs by giving them a fun way to work together.

Resident Astrid Abrahams started the drumline early last year and has been praised for creating unity among rivals.

“Those boys couldn’t come here onto this street, and the children would run from Hillview Heights down here to Hillview to throw rocks at the other children. Now they’re all friends because they all play together in the drumline,” she says.

Seeing the effects of gang violence, Abrahams recruited her grandsons Mikyle Mamba (15) and Caleb Philander (15) to teach other children how to drum.

Mikyle is a drummer at church and was able to show the other children how it’s done. But they did not have drums to practice on and had to make do with coffee cans. That is until they were gifted a set of old drums. Recently, the drumline received new equipment.

Councillor for ward 67, Gerry Gordon, has been supporting the drumline for some time; last year donating five new drums to the group at an exhibition in Grassy Park.

“Young people look for alternatives, rather than to join gangs – and here is an opportunity to make contact with the drumline because many skills are taught and discovered through the drumline,” says Gordon.

She adds: “This kind of intervention in what is one of the most vulnerable areas – Hillview, where we have so much serious crime – unites young people and gives them a focus.”

Abrahams has spoken to the councillor to use a public open space in Hillview for the drumline to practice.

So, this year, with a total of 60 children, Abrahams hopes to continue to unite the children by forming several bands for them to take part in and, possibly, to perform on local stages.

  • To assist the drumline, contact Astrid on 061 720 9734.

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