Music has been his life, and it is fitting that Madoda Gxabeka spends most of his free time teaching the children of Hillbrow music through the Performing Arts Department of Outreach Foundation.
Well-known in the music industry as a member of the African Jazz Pioneers, Madoda has performed to large crowds all over the world. The band has a large following overseas and even in South Africa, where they play annually at various festivals around the country.
Soft-spoken Madoda is the kind of mentor every child needs. He is patient and caring and truly loves his craft. Growing up in Lange in the Western Cape, he was surrounded by a multitude of sights, sounds, and music. He knew from a very young age that music was his passion and that he wanted to share his love of it with others. And so he began teaching it to his friends and the other children in the neighbourhood. He was one of the few children who understood and enjoyed the theory of music. He still studies it and teaches it.
Although Madoda is well-known for his jazz, he has always had a love for classical music. He listens to it a lot, and it inspires him. He, therefore, teaches piano as well as drums and tries to include classical elements as much as he can whenever he can. He believes in introducing his students to various sounds as that is what shaped his music and made him a better musician.
Of the artists that influenced him and his music was pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim, saxophonist, Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi and his music teacher, Gideon Ndlebe. Mr Ndlebe taught him to love musical instruments and literally changed his life. This teacher wanted to get the kids of Lange off the streets by teaching them music. Madoda was one of those children.
Instead of getting embroiled in gangs and liquor, he became involved in music. He strongly believes that Mr Ndlebe and music saved his life.
Now, as a music teacher at Outreach Foundation, he gets to do the same for the children of Hillbrow. He gets to offer them a chance to learn music and get off the streets after school and during school holidays. This is what attracted him to the Foundation and why he juggles his music career with teaching in Hillbrow.
Music requires dedication and patience. The children have to practice to get better. This means that they need to play their instruments almost every day which then keeps them off the streets more often. But this kind of dedication is not easy in an environment such as Hillbrow. Madoda has to come up with ways in which to encourage them to come to practice. One such way is for them to perform. The students respond well to performing to audiences. They thrive with that kind of feedback.
But for the students to perform, they need opportunities to do so. Madoda’s plea to donors, companies and government departments is to book Outreach Foundation’s performing arts students for any function they may have. One of his dreams is for his students to perform as part of the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra. He believes that the more experience they get, the better their chances will be to do so and the more chances they will have to become professional musicians once they leave school.
And Madoda knows what he is talking about: thanks to exposure through performing to audiences, two of his students from the Outreach Foundation have performed overseas, and two of his past students are famous musicians: McCoy Mrubata, a jazz saxophonist and pianist, Vusi Maseko.
To book Outreach Foundation’s performing arts students, please contact us on 011 720 7011 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org