I come from a small town in Mpumalanga called Sabie, where I live with my father and two younger sib...
Our students come from vastly different backgrounds. On the whole, they are severely financially constrained which is often compounded by debilitating domestic issues. Over 30 million South Africans live in poverty and many of our students find themselves in this situation. A career in music is a dream for them all, and they pursue this dream despite the ongoing and oppressive daily challenges that they face.
The full-time course was designed to wean the CMDA off donor funding and for it to become more service orientated; providing professional development for a fee. Less than 10% of our students can afford to pay any fees, even a portion of the fee. Many find the cost of transport, which is R90 per week difficult or impossible to fund. Considering this is greater than any social grant they receive, their attendance at the CMDA relies upon the support of their broader families or their local community and church.
It cannot be stressed enough; the financial constraints for most of our students is an overriding issue. They view the CMDA as a place to pursue their dreams and as their escape route from poverty. Consequently, the CMDA staff are often called upon to provide counselling and support on matters that are unrelated to music.
As a result, the CMDA is unlikely to wean itself off donor funding in the long term and more succinctly, securing third-party bursary funding that permits students who live in poverty the opportunity to study, will always be a pillar of our program. The poverty trap consequently affects both our students and the organisation.
Here you will find some biographies as written by our students. They provide an insight into the lives of our students.