Youth to showcase talent at Artscape

Junior dancers acting as Cinderellas mice at the Joseph Stone in Not just another Cinderella story.

Children from Hanover Park’s First Community Resource Centre will perform at the Artscape Theatre, later this month, in a show raising money to guarantee similar opportunities in future.

The group of about 50 youngsters from Hanover Park, Mitchell’s Plain and Delft will perform Not Just Another Cinderella Story on Saturday February 23. The proceeds will be ploughed back into the First Community Resource Centre’s arts and culture department.

The centre in Lansur Road, Hanover Park, runs youth programmes, including dance, drama and music, that nurture young people’s talents, boost their self-esteem and keep them away from gangs, according to the CEO Craven Engel.

The group going to the Artscape started performing about seven years ago, once or twice a year, on various stages. The show’s takings sustain the programme.

“It is important for us to have this programme, as we are living in a structural crime hub with different gang zones who are looking to recruit idle kids,” Mr Engel said.

“We do the same, and we recruit them before the gangs can. There is nothing for our people here – no entertainment, no arts and culture, no economic value.”

The group rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week.

The programme, said Mr Engel, expanded young people’s horizons. He said 80% of
children between the ages of 8 and 14 had never left Hanover Park.

“Many don’t even leave their gang zones. The programme helps with this because if you live in one zone and the gangs see you walking in their zones they will question you but then the kids say they are coming here,” he said.

“Our children have no prior training when they come here, but we provide a holistic change, which takes up to two years to shift their way of thinking… They leave with social skills and better communication skills.”

The children are encouraged to set life and academic goals and are mentored to achieve them.

The show is at the Artscape Opera House on Saturday February 23, at 6pm. Tickets are R70 for 5 to 12 year olds and R100 for adults. Call Tammy at 074 603 9563 for tickets.