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The Bochabela Strings Program


Jo Voets

In 1998, American double bassplayer Peter Guy founded the Bochabela String Orchestra and started teaching music to disadvantaged children in Bloemfontein's black townships. Today, the program reaches over 500 kids, and it has become so successful that the premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, wants to expand the project throughout the province. The program is instrumental in broadening the horizon of expectations of the young people of Mangaung: the most talented ones received bursaries to continue their studies and are well on their way to become professional musicians. Teaching the younger ones what they have learned, they now share their knowledge with the community, making the circle round.


 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026243

Zukiswa (13) poses with her violin in a classroom at the Joe Solomon Primary School.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/0000

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026242

Thabang Mokgosi grabs a bite after busking at Mimosa mall in Bloemfontein. The orchestra plays at the mall on sundays during lunchtime, and the public often gives generously. Today, the kids decided they wanted to spend the money on burgers.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0127650

Young Stella Benbooi studies music with the Bochabela Strings program, which provides music education for disadvantaged children.

Welkom, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026247

The Bochabela String Orchestra plays at a garden party for Bloemfontein 's elite. Annie Mokgosi and her husband Johannes sit on a bench behind the guests and listen to her son Thabang with pride. She is the housekeeper for the judge who organises the party. Johannes works there too as a gardener and handyman. Their employer helps them with their oldest daughter 's tuition.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026278

Peter Guy started the project 6 years ago. Apart from teaching music in the township schools, at the Musicon and at the University of the Free State, he also drives one of the school busses, repairs the instruments, and pays some of the poorer kids' tuitions from his own pocket.

Bloemfontein, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

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Bows and sheet music with a portrait of the African-American gospel composer Andrae Crouch.

Boemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2006

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Students at Heidedal Primary having fun with a magazine cover.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 27/10/2004

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026267

The Bochabela Strings program provides music education for children from the townships in the wider Bloemfontein area. The older girls of the group during a break after orchestra practice at the Musicon.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026259

Pratice at the Musicon, Bloemfontein. The Bochabela Strings program provides music education for children from the townships in the wider Bloemfontein area.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0296193

A young boy practices a song on his violin in a classroom at Joe Solomon Primary in Heidedal (Bloemfontein).

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026266

Pupils from Joe Solomon Primary in Heidedal striking a pose during miss Eileen 's music class.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0296194

Millard Tlai-Tlai practices on a beautiful vintage Wurlitzer electronic piano in a music room at the Univesithy Ya Freistata, the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295922

Tsholofelo Sereeco started taking classes with the Bochabela Strings program eight years ago. She is now passing on her knowledge to a younger generation of kids from the townships around Bloemfontein.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

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Violin class at the Musicon, Bloemfontein.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026250

Sunday afternoon at the Benbooi 's. Pona started playing a couple of months ago. She follows the footsteps of her sisters Minah and Stella, who joined the Bochabela Strings program a few years earlier.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026249

Millard (18) lives with his mother in a humble house in Freedom Square . He finishes 12th grade next year and wants to be a scientist, doing research in the field of physics and mathematics. The kitchen is his favourite spot for practicing the violin.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0126241

The Bochabela Strings program provides music education for disadvantaged children from the Mangaung area.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0127676

A helping hand from the teacher while tuning the violin. Joe Solomon Primary, Heidedal.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0127670

Refiloe Olifant listens to Derek Ochse while he tunes her violin.

Bloemnfontein, South africa - 00/00/2004

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0027342

At the Du Plessis Theatre 's orchestra room, Derek Ochse takes Refiloe Olifant through some difficult passages during the rehearsal for a concert later that week.

Bloemfontein, South africa - 00/00/2004

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295918

Practice at the Musicon, Bloemfontein.The Bochabela Strings program provides music education for children from the townships in the wider Bloemfontein area.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0026282

The Bochabela Strings program provides music education for children from the townships in the wider Bloemfontein area. A school bus takes them home safely after their classes on wednesdays and saturdays.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2004

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295920

Music class for visually impaired children at the Bartimea school for the deaf and the blind in Thaba 'Nchu.

Thaba 'Nchu, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295917

Gift Hess specializes in instrument maintenance and repair. He also teaches music in a school for blind children. Gift is one of the many township kids who received a music education in the Bochabela Strings program.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295916

When he started learning the violin ten years ago, Japie Ngqonda never imagined that one day, he would be a teacher himself, passing on his knowledge to other underprivileged kids frpm the townships around Bloemfontein.

Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0296311

Sand du Plessis Theatre, Bloemfontein. Japie Ngqonda discovered his talent for music when he started taking classes with the Bochabela Strings program. Now, he is ready to take the stage with the Free State Symphony Orchestra.

Bloemfontein, South africa - 00/00/2009

 

Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295937

Thapelo Masita, Lofentse Lekalake, Refiloe Olifant and Stella Benbooi on stage during a fund-raising concert for the Bochabela Strings program.

Mechelen, Brabant, Belgium - 00/00/2009

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Jo Voets / Picturetank VOJ0295941

Thirteen year-old bass player Siyolise Nyondo on stage with the Bochabela String Orchestra.

Brussels Bloemfontein, Free State, South africa - 00/00/2009

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