The amaWolseley Marimba Band is a community development project in the district of Wolseley in the Witzenberg Valley of the Western Cape. This project was founded in September 2012 by Paul and Peppi Stanford of White Bridge Farm Accommodation. The word “ama”, translated from a number of our indigenous African languages, means “many, much, an abundance of” and Wolseley is the geographic area in which the members reside.
An abundance of Music
This project was the brainchild of Paul and Peppi Stanford of White Bridge Farm Accommodation. It took a number of years to realize the dream to create a marimba band in the Witzenberg Valley.
It took a while to find funding for the purchase of the instruments and for the training of the members, but in September 2012 a plan came together.
The members were sourced from the disadvantaged areas in Wolseley and the surrounding townships by means of auditions. A group of aspiring musicians were selected from those who attended. Training, which was done by amaAmbush Marimbas, took place at Olive Rock wedding and function venue on 26 and 27 September 2012. Prior to this training none of these young people had either heard of or seen a marimba instrument before.
From this training workshop there are now 8 active members who are going from strength to strength and performing at a number of functions in the Witzenberg Valley and beyond. These young people have not only learnt a talent which is unique to the area, they are in great demand and have played in a number of paying performances. They have earned respect in their communities and schools and have learnt the dissipline of punctuality and tidiness. Their sense of self worth has been significantly affected. From a group of total strangers, we have created a bonded family who care for one another and rely on each other. They are the backbone of amaWolseley Marimbas.
We are extremely grateful to the Cape Winelands and Witzenberg Municipality who collectively provided 80% of the required funding to kickstart this project. It is thanks to them that this project was able to get off the ground. It has made a significant difference in the lives of these young people.
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