'The main obstacle to expansion of the project is lack of equipment and
'The project helps them bypass the poverty trap'
• Drugs, not in my
• Youth told the truth
Izivunguvungu Music Project
The Izivunguvungu Music Project is part
of a larger social outreach organisation, supervised by the
South African Navy. The former Director of Music, Cdr Mike Oldham,
instigated the project in 1996 with the assistance of musicians from
the Navy Band who visited local disadvantaged schools.
Band groups were established, using a very limited number of second-hand
instruments, and with the basic principle that all members must learn to
read music and that they will commence group work as a priority. Having
retired from the Navy, Cdr Oldham continues to run this project in
several of the socially deprived areas, working closely with the school
authorities and parent groups, coordinating with the Flag Officer
Commanding of the Naval Base in Simon's Town.
'Music has always been known to enrich life'
Music has always been known to enrich life, but in this
instance it can be a means of saving lives, and there are
instances of young people being saved from the drug cultures
and the crime entrapments which are features of many
disadvantaged areas in South Africa.
Aged from 10 to 18 years, the
members are occupied mainly after normal school hours, returning to
the classroom to begin performing on brass instruments and
percussion, eventually performing in their own communities plus in
the larger Cape Town area. They link up with the Navy during the
annual Festival in Simon's Town and have an annual visit to the Arts
Festival in Knysna.
Navy Festival band march through Simon's Town
The main obstacle to expansion of the
project, urgently needed to assist many more young people escape a
dull and often dangerous existence, is lack of equipment and funding
for maintenance, etc. Even second-hand brass instruments are welcome,
if they are repairable, in order to ensure that the disadvantaged
youth of our country can begin to experience a more enriching way of
The project helps them bypass the
poverty trap that precludes art and music while learning that crime,
drugs and irresponsible sex can be avoided in a new way of life that
has its own more meaningful experiences.
If you're able to assist this project, please get in
Flag Officer Commanding Naval Base Simon's Town
Rear Admiral (JG) J.E. Louw
Office: (021) 787 3672
Mobile: 082 807 8056, or
Commander (Ret) Mike J. Oldham
Mobile: 082 445
Commander Kenny Leibbrandt
Office: (021) 787 4059
We thank you!