The college was approached by the Cape Town Festival and was keen to get on board with the important project. Cape Audio College is always “looking for opportunities to stimulate the greater industry, and foster partnerships that create awareness and growth.”
In Europe and the US, it is relatively easy for artists to take to the street to perform, as they are generally supported by their governments as well as locals and visitors.
In South Africa, however, busking is not as accessible or sustainable for local artists. So, Beyond Busking was created as a way of changing the narrative.
The programme provides applicants training in song writing, vocal training, stage presence, assistance in musical arrangement and equipment upgrades. The applicants also get free studio time working alongside musical composers.
Yusuf Ganief, CEO of the Cape Town Arts Festival, explains that they use an expert team of sound engineers and emerging student producers in the programme.
Thando Feni is a busker from Gugulethu who plays Djembe. He completed the programme this year with his original song “Hlalethembeni” – “stay in hope”.
“Recording for the first time at Cape Audio College was a dream come true for me,” says Feni. “With the state-of-the-art recording studio and the final year students, I was treated like a superstar.”
Cape Audio College educates students in sound technology through a range of courses which are offered on both a full-time and part-time basis. The campus has an online radio station and research library.
Ganief expresses that with Cape Town being one of the most creative cities in the world, he believes that lives can be changed when people come together to share resources and skills.
The project is also looking to expand next year into having a competition amongst final year students for producing the best track.
“This way we give professional experience to students and uplift the original music of buskers to radio standard recordings,” says Ganief.
The Beyond Busking Programme will be presented at The Castle of Good Hope on Saturday, 29 October, and will include Thando Feni’s song debut.
The technical support team will consist of students and staff of Cape Audio College, as the students get the opportunity for a live and professional experience.
The presentation at the Castle has many partners, including CDI (Craft Design Institute), the V&A Waterfront, African Voices for Hope and Peace, BASA, Ariva Arts Foundation, Rootspring Music and Re-Imagining Cape Town Symposiums.
The historic space of the Castle provides the perfect environment for a day filled with Cape Town culture: street art, busking, African craft, music, food, poetry workshops and sculpture.
Ganief speaks on how the impact and role of art has changed since the pandemic.
“It has brought a time to re-imagine a world where artists can continue to play a critical role in society of inspiring hope and social cohesion. The CT Arts Fest acknowledges both the fragility as well as the resilience of artists in South Africa.
We will celebrate both on the 29th of October at the Castle where we showcase our amazing talent and creativity as well as introduce wellness and lifestyle elements to our festival day.”
The Beyond Busking Project has been hugely successful, and is a project that the organisers are hoping to continue to expand on, especially within rural areas.
For more information you can contact Thabo on 084 894 6890 or via email at [email protected].