Monday, 31 March 2014

Crafty Mercedes-Benz car

To celebrate the new W205 C-Class, six craftsmen from the Eastern Cape created a life-sized replica from wire and beads. In December last year, the world’s first life-sized wire-and-bead car was unveiled at the bustling 603 600m2East London production facility at an event titled 'Out of Africa, For The World'.   

Initially 24 local craftsmen were invited to submit miniature replicas of the luxurious new car – which were then shown to Mercedes-Benz workers who voted for their favourites.   

The six chosen artists – Teddy Mutasa, Khayalethu Nqono (from Keiskamma Trust), Eddie Jange (from Keiskamma Trust), Johnson Sithole, Busana Sibanda and Mzoxolo Makalima  – then became an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz family. Every day for a month, the six clocked in like everyone else and worked tirelessly on the ambitious craft project.  

 "I was excited from the beginning of this initiative," says team leaser Mzoxolo. "It was a challenging experience." The talented bead worker adds that building the model made him think about his childhood. "I used to make wire cars just to play with them, but now there stands before me a resounding success and I am proud."   In total the car took 232 hours, 11km of wire and 3 million beads to create – and just like the real W205 C-Class, it’s a stunning work of art.   

 *Production on the W205 C-Class has already started in earnest at the Eastern Cape Mercedes-Benz plant. The luxury vehicles will be exported to Europe, Australia, Japan and other Asian markets.

Click on the link to read more and view more images

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Music through the ages

Well done to the Music Academy:

"CLASSICS at The Castle, held at Richmond House in Port Alfred, took place on Sunday, March 2, with performances by Anthony Drake and Laura Osterlund along with young friends from The Keiskamma Music Academy in Hamburg.

Classics at The Castle came of age with the event as it was the 21st musical event to be held at Richmond House. 
The event was entitled “La Belle Danse: a celebration of instrumental dance music through the ages” and it took audience members through a musical journey with the use of recorders, clarinets and a medieval violin known as a Vielle.

The event was very well attended by music lovers from the public, who applauded their appreciation for the skilled performances by Drake, Osterlund and the Keiskamma Music Academy students. It was a superb showcase of talent for the academy."

View the original article:

Friday, 21 March 2014

Music fundraiser with Kidzpositive

Our Riders Taking Part in the 2014 Treble Tour, in aid of The KidzPositive Family Fund and the Keiskamma Music Academy, for more information visit

Friday, 14 March 2014

Music concert in Cape Town - 19th March


‘Notes in Thread’

Barend De Wet, Frank Mallows & Helen Volsoo

At The New Church Museum

The Keiskamma Trust

Is proudly hosting a benefit concert, all proceeds made from this pleasurable rendezvous will contribute to the continued excellence of the Keiskamma Music Academy.

Renowned performance artist Barend de Wet with needles and colour, the undeniable Frank Mallows on marimba and ever enchanting Helen Vosloo on flute - offer you - a one night only viewing, of this especially compiled performance.

An evening of reverent and irreverent referrals to the art of Bach and the art of crocheting awaits.

18h00 for 18h30, Wednesday the 19th of March 2014

At The New Church Museum, 102 New Church St, Cape Town

count yourself lucky and reserve your place.

Ticket cost: R500 pp

Contact Chantal Harris on

Parking is easy, refreshments kindly sponsored by Porcupine Ridge Wines and Dish  Food and Social will do more than satisfy.

The Keiskamma Trust is a community organisation centred in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape which works to foster hope and offer support for the most vulnerable. We strive to address the challenges of widespread poverty and disease through holistic and creative programmes and partnerships.

Since 2006 the Keiskamma Music Academy has enabled youngsters in the Eastern Cape to not only acquire the  discipline and pleasure of playing an instrument, it has given them hope as they recognise the potential that lies within them.

Please view the Keiskamma website for more information about our musical initiatives and like our Face book page for updates on our future projects and special events.


A mythical figure in the South African art world with a career straddling nearly thirty years, De Wet is essentially a conceptual formalist. His oeuvre encompasses traditional media, craft skills and fanatical hobbyism that manifests in acts of playful and witty sculptures, ‘knitted paintings’, performances and productive collaborations. From being a model for Issey Miyake, beekeeper, world record holder in yo-yoing, serial tattooist to innate exhibitionist, De Wet exemplifies his motto that “art is life and life is art”, and that any and all material matter, whether it be canonical art works or crocheted yarn, offer creative possibilities for transformation. De Wet officially resigned from the art world in 1996 with the announcement of the birth of his son. In 1998 he established the Museum of Temporary Art at his hotel, The Grand, in Observatory, Cape Town. Here he continued his obdurate battle against the intellectualisms of art, favouring honest gestures imbued with visual puns and Duchampian mischief. 

Frank Mallows has been fortunate to study with two of the world’s leading Mallet percussion specialists: Robert van Sice focusing on marimba performance, and Ed Saindon (Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass. USA) with whom he specialised in contemporary jazz vibraphone. He performs regularly in a wide range of musical settings, from classicalconcerts with professional orchestras around South Africa, to Jazz gigs with his own group FMJAZZQ, to local styles with Frank on Marimba in Adamastor, to his highly acclaimed functions band Misty Blue (where Frank plays keyboards). Frank is Head of Percussion and Drum Kit studies at the South African College of Music (University of Cape Town).  He holds a BSc (Civil Engineering), an MSc in Engineering, as well as an MMus in Vibraphone Performance from the University of Cape Town and is busy embarking on a PhD in Performance Practise through the Department of Music at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal.
Frank, for the past ten years, has performed regularly with Marimbist, Magdalena de Vries, in a unique mallet percussion duo, Duo Four IV Two. Their performances have included South African premières by a large number of local and international composers.  As a “New Music” performer he performs with the group in the group “into” with acoustic bassist and sound artist Brydon Bolton and Computer Graphics artist Sarah-Moon Arthur.

After a 25 orchestral career as principal flute with the JPO, Chamber Orchestra of South Africa and Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Helen devotes herself fulltime to Keiskamma Music Academy: a rural music education and performance programme of Keiskamma Trust in rural Eastern Cape.
“I believe in the opportunity of the arts as an economic driver. I witness the impact of music education on the marginalized rural communities Keiskamma Trust serves. I witness young confident musicians and student teachers emerge, as they become aware of and harness their own creative power and their ability to create income within the creative industry.”
Helen frequently collaborates in cross cultural productions, her work at Keiskamma in this regard includes the recentKeiskamma Carnival (co-created and directed by Kyla Davis for its premiere performances at the National Arts Festival in 2013).
Vosloo has performed with some of South Africa’s leading classical artists, and is a member of the acclaimed Trio Hemanay where her passion for new works by South African composers has led to many commissions over their 12 years of playing together.



Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Keiskamma Trust has some news to announce regarding our Music Academy!

Helen Vosloo, the founder of Keiskamma Music Academy, is in the process of handing over her role as Head of the Music Academy.  
Helen, who founded the Music Academy in August 2006, will now serve on the Keiskamma Board of Trustees.

Anthony Drake, who has been leading and managing the day-to-day operations of the Music Academy from Hamburg since May last year, will be taking over the role as Head and Manager of the Music Academy.  Anthony's dedication and skills are impressive, allowing Helen to serve the Trust in a new capacity, pursue her studies at GIBS and her own flute playing.

Anthony holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Goldsmiths, University of London and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Trinity Laban.  In between these two degrees, he gained invaluable experience in arts administration as an intern with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and also in project management whilst working in the telecommunications sector.  During and following his master’s degree studies, Anthony worked as a music teacher and lecturer.  He has also performed with a number of UK orchestras and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban as Acting Co-Principal clarinet. Anthony: “The Keiskamma Music Academy is an inspirational community in itself thriving on achievement, dedication and determination.  My dream for the Music Academy is for it to grow and prosper, giving opportunities to other disadvantaged young people in surrounding communities, to be sustainable and maintain its high standard of music education.  This means engaging heavily with local communities and the public at large and seeking exciting performance opportunities and projects with an emphasis on high quality teaching.”

We would like to extend our whole-hearted gratitude for the tireless efforts and care that Helen has devoted to the Music Academy's since it's inception and for her love for the community and children.  

Helen: “I became involved with the work of Keiskamma Trust after having being transfixed with the Keiskamma Altar Piece, exhibited at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival  and at the University of Johannesburg. I approached Carol Hofmeyr  in 2005 with the idea to start a music education programme for the children of the communities whom the Trust empowers. These 7 years of working close to full-time with the Trust have been life changing for me. I thank and honour the children (our students), their parents, our many dedicated teachers and volunteers over all the years and the infrastructure of Keiskamma Trust who have made this journey possible. I look forward to watching every student at Keiskamma Music grow as individuals and musicians."

The Academy  continues to offer high quality instrumental tuition to over 100 students in 4 villages: Hamburg, Bodium, Bell and Lover’s Twist. We are very excited to shortly be moving into our new custom designed building in the village of Hamburg. We shall shortly be letting you know our plans for an inaugural celebration concert.
2013 was another landmark year for the Music Academy. One of our many highlights are our first two matriculants moving onto university: cousins Lihle and Nqophisa Mtshonisi are founder students and will be studying towards a BCom and BSc respectively. We are so proud of them! They credit the Music Academy with the discipline and confidence which it has taught them. Lihle and Nqophisa are 2 of the most successful matriculants of the 2013 class at their High School. They plan to continue playing flute, recorder and clarinet.

We will as always keep you updated on the progress of the Music Academy in this year ahead and we are grateful for all the Keiskamma Trust supporters who constantly encourage and partner with us to improve lives in the Peddie South District. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Coega Development Corporation and The Keiskamma Trust Youth Development Programme launch driver training in Hamburg

Coega Development Corporation and the Keiskamma Trust have signed a memorandum of understanding for the delivery of the Coega driver training programme in Hamburg village.  The signing and hand-over ceremony on Thursday 27 February was attended by representatives and associates of both organisations, communityrepresentatives and community members from the villages of Hamburg, Ntilini, Bodiam and Bell.

Alf Settle (Coega:Driving Programme Manager)ThabangMeslae (Keiskamma: Executive Director) and MvululekeMvaphantsi (Hamburg Community Committee: Chairperson)

Driving simulators have been installed at the Keiskamma Trust Vulindlela Youth Centre and were officially handed over at the ceremony.  Since the launch of the Coega driving programme in the Eastern Cape over 1,000 unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 have been trained and obtained their drivers’ licences.  

The Keiskamma Trust’s youth development programme assists youth in villages around Hamburg to access opportunities for studies, training, employment and skills acquisition.  In anticipation of the start of training on the driving simulators installed in Hamburg, 85 people have already applied to be part of the programme.  The training will start in the first week of March.

Hamburg is far away from Peddie and East London.   For people from Hamburg and neighbouring villages to access the Peddie training programme, they need to travel by taxi to Peddie which costs R48 per day.  Since those attending the programme need to do so for a minimum of 3 days a week in order to complete the training in the allocated time, this amounts to at least R144 per week.  The training on the simulators is free and participants only pay for their test bookings.

A trainer from Coega puts one of the simulators through
its paces as keen future trainees look on

Unemployment in the area is 78% which is 20% more than the Eastern Cape average. The economic situation faced by local communities makes life for young people extremely difficult. Part of the youth development programme is a career guidance and counselling programme offered to high school learners, recent school leavers and other young people.  It is clear that having a drivers licence will significantly increase their prospects of employment.  Access to resources that link people to the external world is one of the greatest problems faced by this generation of youth.