What's Going On In Cape Town? THE PROBLEM
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world if you live in the right neighbourhoods. But in the Cape Flats – an large lower income area – the community is facing an unprecedented struggle with the threat being posed from inside the community itself. Over the last few years, drug abuse and gang violence in Cape Town and the Western Province has hit an all-time high. With the massive amount of drug abuse, families have disintegrated and therefore, whole communities. Kids grow up with little hope, few opportunities and few role models, except for gangsters. Therefore joining a gang has become the fastest way to achieve belonging, power and financial benefits.
We are currently facing challenges that, if it goes unaddressed, may trap the next few generations of a whole demographic – The Khoi-Coloured Community of South Africa, in particular – in a pattern of extreme violence, gangsterism, poverty, abuse and sadness. It’s not normal.
The problems that people experience here, is spreading as a pattern to the whole province in similar communities. The violence is so endemic that Cape Town is now ranked the 13th most violent city in the world, and the city with the highest murder rate in the whole of South Africa! To put it into perspective: Between my 1st and 2nd visit to Scottsdene (a neighbourhood about a 12 minute drive from my house), 6 people where murdered in the community in a span of 2 weeks! Almost every day at 2pm, as school comes out, the gangsters – who are sometimes as young as 9 years old – start shooting. Everyone knows someone who has been murdered. The community has been gripped in fear and feels utterly forgotten by the rest of Cape Town and the Government.
By their own estimates about 80% of the youngsters in the neighbourhood is on drugs of some kind. Every block has their own dealers and, block by block, street by street, gangsters protect the turf of the “Merks” – those who provide the merchandise. The gangsters can actually see each other. They sit about 60 meters apart. They are each other’s neighbours. But cross the road and you get shot. In a single block of flats that I visited, three moms had lost their children. Nothing is out of bounds anymore, and people are getting murdered in their beds.
It’s not normal.
The newest phenomenon in the Western Cape – and the winelands – is that drug dealers ride on their bicycles, literally from farm to farm and house to house – HOUSE TO HOUSE PEOPLE! – to make sure they provide every household in every neighbourhood and on every farm with the option to buy drugs. It’s saturation!! Which makes exposure and the opportunity to use drugs, if you live in one of these communities, almost unavoidable.
If this is not actively addressed, we are set to lose a generation of people to drug abuse and all the evils that come with it. Dreams stolen, hope lost, lives cut short.
It’s not normal and we simply cannot accept it as such.
Someone MUST take action!
WE WANT TO GIVE YOUNG PEOPLE AN ALTERNATIVE.
Our most basic plan, which we will start with, is as follows:
- Build relationship with the community
- Find key role payers
- Start telling people we are looking for donations of intruments
- Build a logistical supply chain
- Partner with local musicians/programs to start reaching communities
- Start small
We aim to give a PRACTICAL alternative to gangs: BANDS.
To get 1 million instruments to 1 million future musicians in Southern Africa!