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Pupils find a hot new way to raise funds

CAKE sales and raffles are so last generation when it comes to high school fundraisers. These days, pupils fork out up to R330 to attend concerts in the school hall starring some of South Africa’s hottest performers.

DJ Black Coffee, Kwesta, AKA, Anatii, Nasty C and DJ Euphonik are among the rappers keeping under-18s bopping and the money flowing in.

Next week Parktown High School for Girls will put on its first social of the year, called The Void and featuring Hell Naw rapper Nasty C — real name David Junior Ngcobo.

Headmistress Tracey Megom said when the school announced the headline act for the social “the girls nearly went crazy — and I had never heard of this person”.

“Our fundraisers are run by the parents’ association, who are the fundraising body of the school and hold three main events during the year. The social is the biggest one and this year we are having three DJs with the headline act Nasty C.

“The social is run purely by a company, U-Party, who source the artists and always manage to have artists that will interest the crowd,” said Megom.

In previous years as many as 1500 teens have attended the school’s socials featuring DJs Black Coffee and Fresh. “Last year we bought a big 22-seater bus out of the money raised,” Megom said.

For each event, U-Party — a company that helps schools across South Africa raise funds through school community events and under-18 socials — sells tickets online.

It also organises private security and ropes in the police. Pupils are searched for alcohol or illegal substances.

“We have raised millions of rands for schools, with a 2013 average of plus-R65000 per event. Our most successful community event raised R400000 for the host school,” the company says on its website.

Megom said the school kept 80% of the profits from the event and the remainder went to U-Party.

For 20-year-old Ngcobo, performing at school socials is “an investment that can win the hearts of young people”. “For school shows I charge an average of R20000 but the price is not fixed as I know that sometimes there is a budget limitation.”

Ngcobo said he had performed at six schools in the past year, including Allen Glen and St Mary’s in Johannesburg and Strelitzia Secondary in Durban. “I often censor myself when performing to a young crowd as I do not want to be seen to promote profanity and foul language to young teens,” he said.

Fellow rapper Anatii — real name Anathi Mnyango — who performed at Roedean School on February 10, said he used the events to “engage the pupils” and charged a reduced rate.

Former 5FM DJ Themba “Euphonik” Nkosi said he had performed at “too many schools to remember”. He charged a lower fee to fit the school’s budget as he saw it as “an opportunity to market my brand”.

“If I can win them while they are young, chances are they will follow the brand even when they are in varsity or older.”

St John’s College headmaster Paul Edey said the money from socials went towards projects within the college as well as to “a variety of external community projects”.

St Stithians College communications co-ordinator Lethabo-Thabo Royds said the school hosted “music concerts with top bands like Prime Circle” as a fundraising initiative. - article published in Sunday Times

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