The Cape Town Arts Festival (formerly known as the Cape Town Festival) has done it again! Renowned for giving emerging artists a platform, this time they have exceeded all expectations with their Beyond Busking Program. Morne Holland, is one of the street buskers that was chosen to go through training in song writing under Clive Ridgway. The training also included vocal development, life mentorship, and stage presence with the CTAF. His new hit song “I am a Busker” is the fruit of a very successful 13-week pilot upskilling project.
Morne Holland hails from Ocean View, Cape Town. He busks for a living in the quaint village of Kalk Bay, voted by Forbes in 2017 as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world in 2017. After auditioning for the Beyond Busking Programme run by the CTAF, he completed his song writing course with flying colors and has been churning out songs since then.
“I am a busker” is a tribute to all buskers struggling out there with a sound that is delightfully Capetonian. Many of us have heard the rich baritone sounds of Morne`s voice floating out of the subway of Kalk Bay. “With his newfound creative talent and song writing ability, this may not be the case for much longer” says Yusuf Ganief, Festival CEO. “He will most likely become a sought-after singer, song writer and performer, going beyond the life of a struggling Busker to a fully-fledged professional musician.”
“We are excited about the new partnership between the Waterfront Busking Program and the Beyond Busking Project. I believe our combined inhouse knowledge and skills will create a new era of development and opportunity for local buskers. Together with the CT Arts Festival we aim to change the perception of Busking in South Africa and take our rightful place in the international arena.” says an excited Marco Morgan, Social Impact – Programme Specialist.
“This is music to my ears” shares Ganief, “My job is done. If we have changed the lives of a few buskers, then they in turn can inspire others.” During my tenure as CEO of the Cape Town Festival between 2003-2007 we launched then, unknown artists, such as Emo Adams and Freshly Ground who both went on to become South African icons.
“We have a wealth of talent performing on our streets in the Western Cape. With an upliftment program like the Beyond Busking project, an exciting journey of transformation for a few selected buskers, we witness how baby steps in the area of skills development and opportunity can change the destiny of individuals whose plight appears to be hopeless “says an enthusiastic Ganief.
The Cape Town Arts Festival will launch at the Castle of Good Hope on the 29th of October, where Morne will perform on the big stage alongside other buskers and headline artists. It is an opportunity to witness this fairytale story unfold. This day of festivities will showcase top local musicians including poetry workshops and performances, craft and design market, a fine arts exhibition, reimagining Cape Town arts and culture symposiums, a wellness and cultural food market, lifestyle talks, masterclasses, and youth edutainment. There will be something for all ages and cultures. Entrance to the festival is free and a great opportunity for all Capetonians to get together.
“The structure of the Cape Town Arts Festival has changed dramatically, with ongoing projects and training programs all year round rather than a two-week festival. This year the festival will highlight the importance of well-being and mental health with talks and classes sharing methods to reduce stress. This is relevant to post Covid and will be included in all future festival days. Having partners like the Castle of Good Hope and Ariva Arts Foundation with a shared vision of showcasing our culture and history through the arts, shows how South Africans can innovate Cape Town as one of the most creative cities in the world because of our diversity”