How to compose the greatest escape

How to compose the greatest escape

Fabian is part of a musical band that has helped him to express himself and overcome the social ills that his community faces. 

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There aren’t many places you can escape to in Kraaifontein. This suburb has one of the highest murder rates in South Africa, owing to gang violence. Dabbling in gangsterism is an overwhelming possibility for youngsters. To keep negative influences at bay, Fabian Botha turned to music. 

“There are lots of things happening around us,” he says. “I was looking for a hobby so I wouldn’t get involved.” When he was 14, Botha learned to play the keyboard and picked up a guitar soon after. “Sometimes, you can’t share with people what you feel inside,” he says. “Music helps me a lot.” Today, Botha is proficient in the acoustic, electric, and bass guitar, as well as drums. He puts his talent to use as a tutor for JOIN BANDS, NOT GANGS, an NGO that uses music to uplift the youth and steer them away from the wrong crowd.

For his tenacity and dedication in the face of ongoing adversity, Botha won a full scholarship to the Cape Music Institute in 2019. “I want to be an example for other young men like me,” he says. “If there’s someone that can be a light for them, they will also follow that path.” With his guidance, the youth of Kraaifontein are set to go far.

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