Marching their way to success

2018-07-24 06:00
The newly established Hanover Park Marching Squad is in need of uniforms and band equipment.PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

The newly established Hanover Park Marching Squad is in need of uniforms and band equipment.PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

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An unemployed mother from Hanover Park has chosen to spend her free time at home giving back to the children in her community.

Shamielah de Villiers (45) from Crystal Place established the Hanover Park Community Marching Squad earlier this year, to keep children off the street.

The local marching band, which started off with only 10 children participating, now has more than 35 children in attendance. It was all smiles faces from the little ones on Wednesday when Peoples Post met the crew.

The children believe that by joining the community band they can march their way to success one day and not end up in a dark place like many other youth in the area.

“I decided to start this marching band as an exciting activity to keep young children off the streets, away from drugs and gangsterism, and to prevent them from smoking on street corners like usual,” explains De Villiers­.

“My hope is for these young children to grow up successful one day, and in order for it to materialise, they need support, inspiration and to be motivated with good activities from their parents and people around them.”

De Villiers, who volunteers at Sports Stepping Stone (SSS) in Manenberg, has a history in sport and marching bands, and managed to get a professional coach to teach her local group.

“My team members have their own coach who comes in from Monday to Saturday to work with them, and they love every minute of it. The coach is doing this on a volunteer basis and refuse to be paid, mainly for the love of the kids and his passion for marching bands,” she says.

“With this, I have managed to borrow a few T-shirts and music equipment from SSS, for our children to practise with. But because it is not my own, I am forced to call out for assistance for sponsors to purchase the group’s own uniform and drums, among other items needed.”

The new band that consists of children as young as seven is set to perform for the first time in August, at a women’s league event.

“This will be their first performance in front of a large crowd. They are very excited. I have agreed to have my kids play at the event, despite not having a uniform yet, but I believe that they will be fully dressed in beautiful gear by then, with the assistance of the public.

“I also believe that when children are dressed in uniforms, they have more courage and excitement to go out and perform, and to want to be part of a group. These kids love every moment of their practise sessions and other children in the area come to stand close by to cheer them on.

“For me to do this in my community is not a major thing for some people, but at least I am making an effort to keep these children off the streets.

“I appeal to the community to come forward and to contribute towards the band with the hopes of saving another child from the evils of this community,” she adds.

V For more information, call Shamielah de Villiers on 084 264 1108.

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