67 - More than just a number
With 67 Minutes for Mandela Day imminent and looking to the past, we realise have come a long way, with many positive changes - the majority of which can be attributed to Mr Nelson Mandela. It inspires us, at Gearhouse, to try to instil Mandela’s values and beliefs into our personal and professional lives. Every 18th July on Nelson Mandela's birthday, the call goes out for people everywhere to celebrate the day by acting on the principle that each one has the power to change the world.
Mandela spent 67 years on a quest to make the world a better place and this July we are dedicating our time as a company to spend Mandela Day 2018 doing just that, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Formalised by the United Nations which officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, this day focuses on recognising Mandela’s values, embracing his dedication to the service of humanity and acknowledging his selfless contribution to the struggle for democracy. At the time of the campaign’s launch, Nelson Mandela said he would be “honoured if such a day could serve to bring people around the world together to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation.” This year the Gearhouse team is contributing their time, equipment and expertise to two great initiatives; one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town.
Our branch operation manager in Johannesburg, Stuart Andrews was approached around 4 months ago to assist Bertrams Junior School with their 100th year centennial celebration event. The school forms part of our local community - located a mere 500 metres away from the Gearhouse offices - and a number of Gearhouse staff members have children that attend the school. The school's centennial event also happens to coincide with Madiba’s birthday, affording us the opportunity to give something back to our local community in the spirit of “67 minutes for Mandela”. The event is in line with the company’s values and educational imperative and at the same time gives our 1st year Gearhouse Kentse Mpahlwa Academy Learners the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience on a live event.
As our relationship with Bertrams Junior School is a new one, we wanted to meet up with the team and in doing so were immediately overwhelmed by the sincerity and compassionate spirit of this small, devoted family of caring educators and eager students - how could we not provide assistance?
So along with providing a trussing structure with tarpaulins to create a temporary venue in their quadrangle, Gearhouse Group are providing audio and lighting for the celebration event as well as a small stage. SA Backline, long standing suppliers to the Group, has also kindly agreed to provide backline free of charge for the band’s performance.
The Cape Town branch is dedicating their 67 minutes to assisting non-profit organization, Theatre4Change in Khayelitsha. Contrary to the Johannesburg Mandela Day, the relationship between the Theatre4Change and Gearhouse has been in operation for some years already and they work closely with one another.
Theatre4 Change has been actively training and mentoring young artists in preparation for a tertiary education since 2010. The organisation works with amateurs as well as acclaimed professional artists from various art disciplines assisting them with performance platforms, running mentorship programs, artistic consultations, workshops, events, festivals and other cultural events.
“Healing Souls Through Theatre” is the slogan behind the organisation which uses theatre for storytelling with the aim of empowering fellow community members through drama, using it as a dynamic tool to heal and console. Mandisi, “Dr Disi” Sindo (Chairperson and Artistic Director) heads up the programme and is doing an absolutely phenomenal job of providing a creative outlet to audiences and communities in need of a therapeutic and verbal healing channel through the Arts. The Theatre4Change has become a haven of hope and growth for many, promoting individuals’ self-esteem and self-worth and inspiring the community by showing them how they can make a difference to others or effect a change in their own lives.
This year, Theatre4Change Arts Project and Makukhanye Art Room in conjunction with Gearhouse, presents the 7th annual Vuka Mandela Theatrical Magic Event at Makukhanye Art Room in Khayelitsha from 11am - 2pm (Music & Poetry) & 2pm - 6pm (Theatre & Dance), so the range of performers is varied and extensive.
Mandela’s ethos was to uplift and recognise the value of every person and so we feel it is fitting to spend our Mandela Day doing what we can to take the technical level up a few notches on this day to help these performers shine; each in their own particular way.
Our students pride themselves on taking care of their events, giving their heart and soul to making their clients’ vision extra special and on this day the Cape Town Gearhouse Kentse Mpahlwa students will service this organisation’s celebration, in a venture that is most certainly close to their hearts. They will provide the platform to showcase how an individual can get somewhere in their life, using arts and culture as a vehicle, and be PROUD of their achievements no matter how small.
Mr Mandela spent his life campaigning for the human rights of all South Africans. We at Gearhouse are inspired to take action, inspire change and to try to make every day a Mandela Day. We can all do so much more, and it takes a like-minded community to make real changes and uplift lives. Let’s make compassion and kindness for others a way of life. 67 Minutes is so much more than just a number.
"EDUCATION is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela
Story Liza Hooper, Photos Josef van Schalkwyk
Jul 17, 2018