JOIN BANDS, NOT GANGS is a registered Non-Profit Company (2018/341617/08) that equips and trains youth of Cape Town’s ‘at-risk communities’ in music as a way to help them avert the trap of drugs and gangsterism. By providing instruments and access to music programs and teachers, we fill a historical gap and growing need for creative education in the City’s disadvantaged areas.
Karien de Waal
Join Bands, Not Gangs was founded by Berklee College of Music Graduate, composer and Fender-endorsed multi-instrumentalist, Karien de Waal. Born in Cape Town, raised in Cape Town and Jo’burg and educated in the USA, she has a passion to share her global expertise and uplift the next generation of local musical talent.
Be faithful in the little and God will be able to trust you with much.
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just one grain; it never becomes more but lives by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.
1 million instruments for 1 million future musicians and levites.
Cape Town, South Africa, 2018
Our Mission Field
Schools in at-risk communities, street gangs, and prisons
In early 2018, Karien produced the song “Madiba Wethu”, in order to call attention to the NGO. It was launched on the 100th Birthday of the late Mr Nelson Mandela – 18th of July, 2018.
Some 60 musicians participated in the project, including Loyiso Bala, Elwira Standili, the Berklee Indian Ensemble, the Cape Town Youth Orchestra and the Sekunjalo Delft Big Band. This ignited a spark.
Within 11 days of the song’s launch, Join Bands, Not Gangs received prime-time news coverage on the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation). Since then, the team has been inundated with requests to start programs in at-risk communities across South Africa.
Within two months of the song launch, they had received donations of new and second-hand musical instruments worth R60 000. This included guitars, drums, keyboards, an organ, trumpets, percussion and woodwinds.
First School Handover
On 09th October 2018, this first batch of instruments were handed over to Scottsdene High School in the presence of government, business, media and community leaders.
First Gang Program
By middle of October 2018, a second music program was launched with the donation of another batch of instruments, in one of the sub-areas in Scottsdene at a small local church. Here, Karien and Mario teaches and spends time with the local gang members twice a week.
A second Gang Program, in a rival territory, launched in January 2019.
In The News
Key Values and Goals
Crowdsourcing Music Instruments
Through our media campaigns, we crowd-source music instruments from retail stores, business and private donors. We collect, repair where necessary, allocate and distribute them as part of the local music supply chain.
We are documenting our journey from humble beginnings and capturing our story as it grows. By sharing our progress regularly, we also provide accountability to our patrons of the way their instruments and donations are making an impact. We are also excited about meeting and finding the interesting mix of people, stories and places along the way!
We try to update our stakeholders regularly via meetings and social media. Patrons can follow our journey and look out to spot their instruments. Just imagine your “first bright-blue bass guitar” now being played by a prison band member or a future Abe Laborial that got empowered to walk in his or her destiny due to your donation.
Join Bands, Not Gangs is a beautiful initiative. We as the Western Cape Government supports them fully in their effort.
– Mayor of the city of Cape Town, Mr. Dan Plato
Our company has been collaborating with Join Bands not Gangs since August 2018. After seeing them on national television, it was a logical decision to join the movement. I could sense the positive energy straight away. Karien and Mario are a great team. We support Join Bands not Gangs 100%.
– Hans Heuer, Musikhaus W. Heuer, Stellenbosch
7 Ways. 1 Vision.
Donate an instrument directly
The more instruments we receive, the more we can hand out to enrich more lives faster. Plain and simple! Therefore, if you have an instrument no longer in use (but in working order), please consider donating it to us and we will arrange for collection in and beyond Cape Town. No matter where in the world you are, someone is always coming to Cape Town!
Donate via your favourite music store
If you do not have an instrument to donate directly, but would still like to assist us, you are welcome to provide a voucher to your favourite music store. Alternatively, we can send you a list a local music stores to purchase an instrument from and they will hand it over to us on your behalf.
Sponsor a ‘school package’ or ‘gang package’
Having a complete ‘School Package’ of instruments is the most ideal way to start each program. We are reaching out to corporates, government and NGOs to partner with us by sponsoring a complete package or parts thereof. This can include anything from 5-12 instruments. Contact us to find out more.
You are welcome to make a cash contribution towards a school- or gang package directly with us or via a music store. We will gladly assist you to engage with a musical equipment supplier that will handle your order timeously, cost-effectively and honorably.
Help cover our overheads
As with any well-run company, we have overheads costs to manage the day to day operations like stationery for teaching, instrument repairs, collection and delivery logistics, media and communication, salaries, transport, petrol, annuities and auditing. We control costs in the most reasonable way to make each rand stretch furthest.
Adopt Us as a Corporate Social Investment Programme
Join Bands, Not Gangs is perfectly positioned to partner with organisations seeking to make a visible, lasting and exponential impact. We are a socially responsible partner in the areas of music education, creativity, youth upliftment, leadership and civic empowerment. We believe our work, with corporate and government agency support, will have a lasting impact on our city and future generations.
Volunteer your time
We welcome local and international volunteers willing to teach or supervise music classes for 2 hours at a time, once or twice a week. If this is something you would like to get involved in, kindly contact us for more information!
Saturating Kraaifontein with Bands
Launch of our First Battle of the Bands
Impact Assessment & Cascading our Model
Get In Touch
For general info, comments and questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For media bookings, inquiries or donations, please phone Karien via 071 174 2373
Acc Name: Join Bands Not Gangs NPC
Account #: 62769735691
Branch #: 250655
Branch Name: Cape Gate
SWIFT Code: FIRNZAJJ
To donate via PayPal, please send to email@example.com and choose to "Send to a Friend."