Rural project partners

OKOSI (Overberg Koperblaas Ontwikkelings Inisiatief)

The OKOSI project is the brainchild of Mr Shaun Cloete, a native of Genadendal, who started playing in the Genadendal Brass Band in 1975. His concern for the youth of Genadendal and other rural villages and towns in the Overberg, acted as the catalyst for the establishment of OKOSI – the Overberg Brass Band Development Initiative.

The socio-economic circumstances in these areas are of great concern.  Unemployment, substance abuse and poverty are prevalent in these communities.  Our youth are faced with these challenges on a daily basis, often becoming part of this cycle of poverty from which they see no escape.  The majority of the learners who have become involved in the OKOSI project come from single-parent homes, and are dependent on state allowances.  In essence, OKOSI has become a way to spend free time in a positive manner: an escape-route through the playing of a musical instrument.

Mr Cloete has been training young brass players on an informal basis since 2000, thus carrying on the long tradition of brass in Genadendal. In 2008 he formally started the first brass development initiative at the primary school in Bereaville, 6 kilometres west of Genadendal, with the assistance of the then school principal, Mr. R. Edson, Mr E. Johannes, circuit manager at the time. The initiative set into motion in conjunction with the Certificate Programme, Music Department, Stellenbosch University and the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. There was immediate interest in this project from neighbouring schools and soon the project was extended to Emil Weder High School, LR Schmidt (Mor.) Primary School and Greyton Primary School. In 2010, Riviersonderend and Teslaarsdal Primary Schools also joined the project.
Many of the learners who initially started the project are now at high school, and have continued being members of the project.

This video shows the Okosi Brass Band initiative:

Vlottenburg Music Project

Sharon Katz, Director of The Peace Train, works with Distell Foundation to implement music therapy projects on farms in the Western Cape and in Kayamandi township, South Africa.

This video shows some of the work on one of the farms in July, 2012.


Grabouw Rural Engagement Trust

The Rural Arts Network (RAN) is an organisation established to promote the creative arts in rural communities. The RAN operates as a network of skilled and dedicated arts facilitators and educators who believe in the value that the creative arts bring to the lives of remote and disadvantaged individuals in South Africa. Their aim is to uncover and ignite the potential for creative expression in music, art, dance and drama in rural areas where communities would otherwise not have the opportunity to develop their creative talents.

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