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'Roadies' resumes training project after disruption by Covid-19'

SA group in US to learn about sound staging, audio visual

Six members of South African Roadies Association (Sara) are headed to the United States for a ten-months training program.
Six members of South African Roadies Association (Sara) are headed to the United States for a ten-months training program.
Image: Supplied

Six members of South African Roadies Association (Sara) headed to the US on Sunday for a ten-month training programme with UniverSoul Circus.

"The Roadies", as they are affectionately known, are in America to acquire more live event technical and production skills after being trained by Sara. The members include Kgothatso Mmutle, 25, from Segwaelane, North West, Tumelo Mavayela, 25, from Meadowlands, Soweto, Avile Landzela, 30, from Mangaung, Free State, Moeketsi Tshabalala, 30, from Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, Tumelo Mokgotho, 33, from Soshanguve, north of Pretoria and Blondie Sello, 37, Mangaung.

Speaking to Sowetan just hours before departing for the US, they said they were looking forward to the training programme after it was cut shot in 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Mavayela said: “I am quite excited to go on this training programme. I want to learn to use the advance new equipment that is not available yet in South Africa. By the time the equipment comes to South Africa I would learned how to use it.”

Ladzela, an audio visual specialist, said: “It is exciting to go back to work and do what we do best after the Covid-19. In 2020, we were in America when Covid-19 started and we had to return to South Africa just after two months. We are looking forward again to work on the circus.”

President of Sara, Freddie Nyathela, said the partnership between the two organisations began in 2002. Since then more than 150 young South Africans have been part of the On-the-Job Training Programme with UniverSoul Circus, learning more about sound staging, audio visual, video technicians and production.

“Sara’s On-the-Job Training Programme has seen hundreds of young South Africans receiving world-class technical and production up-skilling in arguably one of the most dynamic and leading entertainment markets in the world, the USA. South African technical and production skills, as shown by the exportability of the Sara members’ skills, are skills of the future and one of the skill sectors offering transferrable skills and sustainable employment, across global markets, notwithstanding the region and the continent, to young people.”

The UniverSoul Circus base in Atlanta, Georgia, is a world-class live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families.

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