Tribute concert to Cape Town legend

2018-05-01 06:00
Toyer Abrahams from Hazendal.PHOTOS: aishah cassiem

Toyer Abrahams from Hazendal.PHOTOS: aishah cassiem

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“I don’t want my uncle to be remembered when he is dead. I want the community of Cape Town to remember him while he is still alive, because he is the reason why many are living their dreams and standing on stages across the country, and world, today.”

Those were the emotional words of Abdul Aziz Schroeder during a recent rehearsal with his uncle, Toyer Abrahams, a well-known artist in the entertainment industry for almost 40 years.

Abrahams’s recent leg amputation has prevented him from doing certain daily activities, but this has not stopped him from putting a smile on people’s faces across the city. Moving around independently in his wheelchair-friendly home studio, the admired artist continues to live his passion as a singer.

But according to Schroeder, not much has been done to recognise the role his uncle has played on the Cape Flats over the years.

“One day we were just sitting and chatting, and I came up with the idea to have a tribute event for him. Most tributes are for people who have passed on, but this time I wanted to have it done differently, and while my uncle is still alive,” he explains.

“My idea is to have a production where guests sit in to watch his life story as to how he started, where he has been in life and what impact he has had on the lives of those in the community who have prospered, including Da Je Vu, The Boys, and so forth. To date, not many people have recognised him for this. This is the main reason I decided to highlight his life.”

Schroeder, who has a background in the media and entertainment industry, will play the role of Abrahams in the production. He has featured in several movies including Four Corners and Nommer 37, among others.

“A lot of money is being pumped into this show to make it the moment for him, not just because he is my uncle, but because he also encouraged and inspired me throughout my life. The whole production will be steered by him and I am just playing his character.

“There are also 10 other individuals who will form part of the production, and artists and groups he has raised will pay tribute to him on the day as well.”

Abrahams could hardly hold back his tears upon People’s Post’s visit last week. “I feel very excited and it is something very challenging for me. I will be sitting in my wheelchair from the control room and will most probably cry on the night of the show. Looking back at what happened to me, I don’t pity myself for being in this condition. I thank God for putting me here. I had an option to remove my leg or go home and live for 18 hours. But I chose to live, despite knowing the challenges I could face. I haven’t lost my soul and talent, and I have turned out even stronger, despite people trying to get me down throughout this journey.”

Abrahams was served with divorce papers two weeks after his leg amputation and has been going through a challenging period for the past few months. His nephew says the production is also set to be a healing process for him to help him overcome the trauma he has experienced.

“I booked the Joseph Stone Auditorium for four days in October. This production will be good for his wellbeing. My uncle has gone through tremendous trauma and currently he is at his highest in his recovery stages.

“This is something completely new and something he likes and will stand as closure for him. The highlight of this is that Toyer has been supporting all types of fundraisers all these years, which include fundraisers for cochlear implants, among others. Today he is sitting in a wheelchair and people have forgotten him.

“This is a man who left the shores of Cape Town and went to Spain and New Zealand, among other places, and to every single venue where entertainment could have taken place in Cape Town. I urge people to come and support the event in his honour. It will be a memorable night for all. I can assure the public that Toyer is coming back with a storm,” adds Schroeder.

V For more information, call Abdul Aziz Schroeder on 073 308 6758.

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