Gearhouse SA and others from the Gearhouse Group pooled their services to provide the technical elements for the Cheese Kids, Mandela Day Celebration which took place at Innesfree Park on Sunday 17th July 2011 (the day before Nelson Mandela Day). 

"We are happy to throw our technical support behind an initiative like the CheeseKids' Mandela Day," said John McDermott, Branch Manager at Gearhouse JHB. "We respect the Cheesekids project and we have a great working relationship with Out The Box (Production Management for this event) who called on us to provide, Audio, AV, Staging, Rigging, Power and LED Screens for the After Party concert."

A Gearhouse Structures Team of 13, led by Senior Stage Builder, Anton Hattingh, arrived on site 3 days before the event to set up the 10 m, wide roofed stage and on Saturday, 16 July a team of 19 Technical crew led by Gearhouse Freelance Project Manager, Kenneth Mkefa arrived onsite to set up the rest of the technical requirements for the Concert. The stage was flanked by PA towers - each sporting a supersized Cheesekids logo with the slogan CHEESEKIDS LOVE MADIBA AND MO'CHEESE.

The name CheeseKids derives from a Soweto slang word denoting the kids from more affluent backgrounds and whose school sandwiches therefore included a slice of cheese. The name was adopted for this Old Mutual-backed, volunteer initiative which makes use of SA youth volunteers to improve communities that could do with assistance.

On this Mandela Day, the After Party Concert took place after the day's activities. Participants from all over Gauteng donated their time and effort to the Cheesekids initiative, working either on site at Innesfree Park or being bussed to specific locations to assist with volunteer projects such as building houses for informal settlement dwellers, painting orphanage buildings, running soup kitchens, planting vegetable gardens, holding sports clinics and spending time with orphans.

Back at the park, the concert kicked off with an all star line-up of local artists including HHP, AKA, Jozi, Tidal Wave, Josie Field, Nothende and Zebra & Giraffe, Good Luck , The Muffins, Roger Soulstar, Tira & Big Nuz, Ihashe Elimhlophe, Mi Casa and Khuli Chana.

Screens either side of the stage relayed the onstage action and displayed Nelson Mandela birthday SMS's to the enthusiastic crowd way past sundown. These screens were made up of 32 panels of LED Lighthouse R16 (Daylight) supplied by LEDVision, one of the Gearhouse Companies.

"These kids are showing us the way," said Kenny Mkefa, freelance Project Manager for Gearhouse SA, "on the day they co-opted around 6,700 volunteers to across the country to help them with various projects. Nowthat is truly in keeping with the spirit of Mandela Day. From a JHB concert point-of-view, it was an achievement for us to have satisfied this amount of live performers despite not having had everyone available for a sound check beforehand."

Story Robyn D'Alessandro and Photographs Kenneth Mkefa

Aug 26, 2011

The Gearhouse Group of Companies