Show to help artists with drugs problems

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Music lovers will once again converge on the picturesque Carnival City for the seventh yearly Musician and Artists Assistance Programme of South Africa (Maapsa) Benefit Concert.

Set to rock music lovers, the concert will take place at the Ekurhuleni casino's Top Arena on June 30.

Maapsa organises the concert every year to raise funds for the rehabilitation of artists and musicians who are drug addicts. The event is also used to raise awareness about drug abuse.

Proceeds from the concert are used to pay for admission and treatment of artists at drug rehabilitation centres.

Drug addiction is one of the biggest challenges in the South African entertainment industry and outside.

Maapsa, which was formed in October 1998, also provides counselling to people in the entertainment industry.

Managed and coordinated by Drakensberg Promotions, the concert promises to captivate music lovers - thanks to the fine sounds of Hugh Masekela, the brains behind the life-changing project.

Freshly Ground, Bhudaza, Ntando and LaBantu will also perform at the concert.

Masekela, a former drug addict, turned his life around when he got off the stuff. Even more commendable is how he spoke about his addiction.

This not only encouraged other artists to disclose their drug problems and to stop the habit, but it also gave the Maapsa programme credibility.

"The concert is one of only a few in South Africa used to raise funds for Maapsa, said Masekela, a co-founder of Maapsa.

"Drug addiction, both inside and outside the entertainment industry, remains a serious problem."

Tickets cost between R200 and R180 at Computicket and at Shoprite Checkers.