Jimmy Nevis – the Cape Town-born singer-songwriter loved for his hit singles like ‘Elephant Shoes’, ‘Misscato’ and ‘7764’ to name a few – has started a foundation. The Blue Collar Foundation‘s main focus is to uplift the Mother City’s youth; the first project is the J. Nevis Bursary. We caught up with Jimmy to find out more about his view on education and giving back.

What inspired you to start the Blue Collar Foundation?

One of the reasons why I love being someone of influence, specifically as a musician, is that it allows me to participate in other career spaces. Philanthropy has always been a big part of my family and my childhood. This foundation was a concept that was always going to happen – it was just about timing. When I started prepping for my 2nd album release The Masses, I wrote this song called Blue Collar. It really moved me and inspired me in the toughest of times – I wanted to share that feeling with the rest of the world.


The first project of the foundation is the J. Nevis bursary. Who is it for and how can they apply?

The J. Nevis Bursary is there for any matric students who need help with funding towards any 1st-year tertiary level humanities study. Applications are available on our website bluecollarfoundation.co.za. The first Bursary goes out next year.

The bursary is focusing on students applying to the Humanities faculty which is the faculty that your BA degree in Media and Sociology falls in. What would you say you learned the most from your time in Humanities at UCT?

I learnt a lot about myself. My entire mind shifted when I started learning about human nature, society, the media and how it all interlinks. It’s an important faculty – one which is often undermined and not encouraged. However, many people are ignorant to the employment opportunities available with this degree in media, research, business and even architecture.


You’ve recently been announced as an ambassador for Primestars Marketing’s eduCate Matric revision programme. Any encouraging words to the Matrics getting ready for the final exams?

My high school principle always told us to finish well. You may have had a rocky start and it may have not all gone to plan, but there’s still time and there’s still an opportunity to strive for excellence. Make sure that you live with no regrets – put in the hours, put in the hard work. It will pay off. Finish well.

Your commitment to giving back to Cape Town is inspiring. Do you have any advice for the ways people can get involved in uplifting their communities?

There are so many charities and organisations that are constantly doing food drives, visits to shelters and hospitals, and even doing bigger events like fun runs or carnivals. I would suggest that you find a consistent form of giving back – this could be through making your own sandwiches and dropping it off at a nearby shelter, or representing a charity next time you do the Cape Argus Cycle Challenge. There’s no criteria with charity. Every little bit helps.


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