"When I was a child I lived to play the violin. As an adult I wanted the children in Hout Bay, particularly the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement and the Hangberg community to have the same sense of wonder, involvement and beauty that playing an instrument brings. I'd worked in Langa and Alexandra in Gauteng and the children there too had no access to instruments let alone lessons.

Children of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg play in the streets, often on the dangerous Main Road after school. I imagined a place where they could be safe, creative, experience playing an instrument and develop their talent.

So I went to the Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School in Hout Bay and played for the children. I demonstrated the different styles of the violin and how easy it is to carry around. Then I asked if anyone was interested in learning to play. The entire school - 800 children - was standing in the dust in the burning sun. My expectation was to teach three, maybe four children in my spare time.

Virtually all of them threw their hands in the air and began to yell, teacher choose me. This was a seminal moment for me. I had already promised instruments and lessons for a handful and it was in that moment I realised I was going to be teaching many more."

Leanne Dollman
HBMP Director


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