Join Bands Not Gangs Inspires Scottsdene Youth with R60k Music Instruments


Barely three months after being launched in July 2018, NGO Join Bands, Not Gangs have handed over their first batch of donated musical instruments worth R60 000 to Scottsdene High School in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, rated 7th in the SAPS 2017/18 Police report in regards to murder rates.

R30,000 of the instruments were donated by an anonymous donor via ‘W. Heuer’ in Stellenbosch. Another R30,000 worth of instruments were donated by members of the public in response to JBNG’ mission of putting 1 million instruments into the hands of 1 million South African youth.

Incoming Mayor of Cape Town, Mr. Dan Plato, attended the event and gave an inspiring speech, along with School Principal, Mr. Peter Links, The Scottsdene Action Group and #Pray4SA.   A band consisting of top Cape Town musicians including Allou April, Shana Ray and Winston Siljeur, lead the youth in morning worship and an impromptu performance by Grade 12 learner, Winston Abrahams on acoustic guitar, turned the event into a roaring hit with the school kids.

Join Bands, Not Gangs Founder Karien de Waal, together with Co-director Mario Rousseau are committed to tackling one community, one day, one band at a time. Mario grew up in Bonteheuwel, another gang-infested area and after 13 years in prison, turned his life around. These days he shares his experiences to inspire others to make better life choices.  They see music as the perfect alternative to gangsterism, as it works on the same principal of inclusion.

Says Karien, “ Our goal for 2019 is to start around 10 more programs in Kraaifontein,  building a critical mass. The community finds their own music teachers, while we help with infrastructure and instruments.  This way it stays a grassroots effort and the community takes ownership.”

Karien and Mario are also working with the actual gang members in the area, mentoring them and teaching them guitar twice a week.  This is critical for changing midsets.

Join Bands, Not Gangs is asking the public for donations of musical instruments – new or second hand – to help establish more programs.  For more info, visit: or email them at