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Music, arts, culture and development of the Vaal runs in Masike's blood

By unknown | Aug 06, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Goodwill Masike has reached that age when suddenly the world's window, shutters and all, is thrown open. He is 40 years old and, as they say, this is when life begins.

He is a financial adviser with a major Johannesburg-based bank.

But he is not your grey-suited average accountant whose routine is as predictable as getting a wrong ID from the perpetually bungling Department of Home Affairs.

The Sebokeng, Vaal, father of a four-year-old girl, is, you might say, schooled in the wrong profession.

Masike oozes energy and brims with creativity.

"My first love is music, whether it is organising a band, starting one or even performing in one.

A manager of a kwaito outfit in Sebokeng, Masike is an amiable fellow, who is well-known in the Vaal but still insists on living the simple life.

"I can afford lots of things, even escaping township life for the suburbs," he says.

Masike's house is an ordinary four-roomed abode, a typical matchbox with two windows in the front that stare at life as it passes by on the untarred street.

The floors are Cobra polish- shiny but bare. They contrast with the only sign of luxury, the green Gomma Gomma leather sofas and matching room divider.

"My daughter goes to school just across the road and not to a suburb in Vereeniging or Vanderbijlpark," he says.

The Vaal or Lekoa, because of its close proximity to South Africa's largest river, comprises eight townships, including Sebokeng, Evaton and Sharpeville.

The three townships have a history of their own but share an even stronger bond dating back to 1984.

It was on September 3 1984 when the Vaal townships exploded in protest against rent increases and the Black Local Authorities Act.

It was then that the struggle for service delivery began in earnest, though it was directed against the apartheid government of the day.

"We are going to break five records that will be entered into the Guinness Book of Records, I am telling you," says Masike.

But he does not list the records. Moving from one leg to the other, he says: "Just wait and see."

Masike is shooting into the limelight and has started a phenomenon that will catapult Sebokeng and the entire Vaal to prominence.

Last year he met a group of four senior citizens, generally regarded as geriatrics who should be confined to an old-age home.

But the men whose ages range from 45 to 74 years have become a new sensation.

They are the proverbial new kids on the block.

Says Masike: "They took my word for it when I blabbered if they wanted to start a band. They immediately said 'Ja and we want to start a kwaito band'."

And that is how the band called Mabonjo started.

Their album Mabonjo - Kwaito Bosses, is selling like hot cakes in the Vaal.

"This is just the beginning because we are unique in the Vaal. There is more to come from the land of Mabonjo," says Masike.

He is determined to round up all major companies and factories in the Vaal to lure them into developing arts and culture in the area.

"I have many projects on my mind and we have to bring everyone to the party.

"How many steel companies and oil corporations do we have in the Vaal?"

Masike says it is time big business ploughed back into the community.

He also feels that even the huge music houses, such as EMI and Sony, will recognise the talent that comes out of places like Sebokeng, Evaton and Sharpeville.

"These three townships have a collective history of resistance and struggle.

"Everybody must come aboard and put their money where their mouths are in the struggle to eradicate poverty and apathy," he says.


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